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Posted by Randy | June 09, 2015
Many people are surprised when they learn that – even though over half of the 50 states have adopted English as their official language, it has not been adopted as the official language of the United States as a whole. In fact, the U.S. is one of a relatively few number of countries around the world that does not have an official language.

Our nation is undeniably unique because of the diversity of its people.  At the same time, there are things that unify our country, like the American flag and our national anthem.

For years, there has been a debate as to whether or not English should also be one of the things that unites our nation, by requiring official functions of the United States be conducted in English. Not too long ago, I cosponsored the English Language Unity Act (H.R. 997), to do just that and declare English as the official language of the United States. It’s a commonsense step, and also serves to promote the idea of unifying our country around a common language. I will keep you posted on the progress of this bill.
Posted by Randy Forbes | April 14, 2015

A secure border should not just be a priority, it should be a reality.

That’s why the House Judiciary Committee passed the Michael Davis, Jr. In Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act (H.R. 1148), which is an updated version of the SAFE Act. This bill, which I co-sponsored, removes the President’s ability to unilaterally shut down immigration enforcement, and strengthens the interior enforcement of our immigration laws by allowing state and local governments to enforce federal immigration law.

I am also supporting H.Res.11, to authorize the House of Representatives to legally determine in federal court whether President Obama’s unilateral immigration actions violate the Constitution, and allow the Speaker to seek a declaratory judgment to compel the President to obey our nation’s immigration laws.
Posted by Randy | April 08, 2015
Currently, there are laws forbidding individuals from receiving Social Security payments if they are here illegally. However, their entire work history – even work done as an illegal immigrant – can still count towards Social Security benefits if the individual later becomes a legal U.S. resident.

In my opinion, that makes no sense. That’s why I’m championing the No Social Security for Illegal Immigrants Act (H.R. 1716) to stop unauthorized work from counting towards Social Security credits. I will keep you updated on its progress as it moves through the House in the 114th Congress.
Posted by Randy | March 24, 2015
Real quick note – just wanted to be sure you saw that H.Res.11 was recently introduced to provide the House of Representatives with the authority to initiate litigation regarding the failure of the President, the head of any department or agency, or any other officer of the executive branch, to act in accordance with their constitutional and legal duties regarding immigration laws.

This will authorize the House of Representatives to legally determine in federal court whether President Obama’s unilateral immigration actions violate the Constitution and federal immigration law duties. Specifically, this bill allows the Speaker to seek declaratory judgment to compel the President to obey immigration laws as passed by Congress, signed into law by previous presidents, and interpreted by federal judges.

I will keep you posted.

In the meantime, I am working with the Judiciary Committee on legislation to secure the border, remove the President's ability to unilaterally shut down immigration enforcement, and strengthen the E-verify system. Learn more, here.
Posted by Randy | March 16, 2015
Did you know that the U.S. is one of the very few nations in the world without an official language?

I recently cosponsored The English Language Unity Act (H.R. 997), to declare English as the official language of the United States, and require the U.S. government to conduct all official business in English materials. It’s a commonsense step, and also serves to promote the idea of unifying our country around a common language.

One note – this bill is not to say that immigrants to our country should abandon their native roots. It is important for immigrant families to teach their children where they came from and encourage knowledge of their native language. Likewise, it is equally important for young Americans to study the language and culture of other nations so that they can become well-read and informed citizens. Instead, the purpose of this bill is simply to encourage all residents to become fully proficient in English.
As a nation of immigrants created by a common thread of language, it is important that we protect the unity that the English language affords us. Without it, we will cease to be e pluribus unum—one nation out of many.
Posted by Randy | March 11, 2015
Wanted to loop you in on two very important bills I’ve been working on with the Judiciary Committee this past week:

The first is an updated version of Congressman Gowdy’s SAFE Act (which I emailed you about earlier this year). This bill (H.R. 1148) removes the ability of the President to unilaterally shut down immigration enforcement, and strengthens the interior enforcement of our immigration laws by allowing state and local governments to enforce federal immigration law.

The second bill is the Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 1147), which preserves jobs for legal workers by requiring U.S. employers to check the work eligibility of all future hires through the E-Verify system.

Both of these bills are positive action steps towards securing our borders, enforcing our current immigration laws, reducing illegal immigration, and saving jobs for legal workers. I’ll keep you posted as they move through the House process.
Posted by Randy | December 10, 2014
Wanted to let you know that I just cosponsored a new anti-amnesty amendment to prevent funding to implement the Administration’s executive amnesty.  The amendment was filed with the House Rules Committee this morning, as they meet to discuss the spending bill for the federal government. 

It is crucial that Congress uses all tools available to rein in the President’s overreach, and uphold the rule of law. Giving the power of the purse to Congress was not an accident, and it is time the Administration understands that adhering to the Constitution is not optional.

Read more about my ongoing fight to oppose amnesty, secure the border, and enforce our current laws, here >>>

Posted by Randy | December 03, 2014

Tomorrow, the House is expected to vote on the Executive Amnesty Prevention Act (H.R. 5759). This bill, which I am supporting, affirms that, except within strict constitutional limits, the President does not have the authority to exempt whole categories of persons unlawfully present in the U.S. from removal, or defer from removal, from this country. Any executive action to the contrary is a violation of the law and thus has no legal effect.

I also wanted to be sure you saw the Op-Ed that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte published today on why President Obama’s immigration power grab poses a danger to America. Weigh in with your thoughts on my blog.

December 3, 2014

Obama's immigration power grab a danger to America

By Rep. Bob Goodlatte

President Obama recently declared from the White House that he is effectively rewriting our immigration laws on his own terms. Under his sweeping executive edicts, President Obama has proclaimed that five million unlawful immigrants can live and work here legally, redefined who is a priority for immigration enforcement, and gutted the interior enforcement of our immigration laws. These unilateral actions have created an untold number of consequences, affecting our Republic, the American people, legal immigrants, and the integrity of our immigration system.

President Obama’s decision to recklessly forge ahead with a plan to unilaterally change our immigration laws creates a constitutional crisis.

The Constitution clearly states that it’s Congress’ job to write our laws and the President’s duty to enforce them. Moreover, the Constitution says that “the Congress shall have the Power to … establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization.”

By allowing five million unlawful immigrants to live and work here through executive action, President Obama ignores the limitations placed on his authority and claims legislative power for himself. These actions threaten to unravel our government’s system of checks and balances and imperil individual liberty.

Many of the president’s actions needlessly endanger our communities. President Obama claims he is taking executive action to prioritize immigration enforcement to focus on criminal aliens, yet the loopholes contained in the Obama administration’s new enforcement priority guidelines ensure that no one is actually a guaranteed priority for removal.

Due to the ambiguous and unworkable language in the administration’s guidelines, criminal aliens such as terrorists, gang members, drug traffickers, drunk drivers, sexual abusers, and other felons could stay here if there are “compelling or exceptional factors” – or in some instances, simply “factors” – warranting their release.

And the recklessness doesn’t just end there. President Obama has scrapped a congressionally-mandated tool that identifies criminal aliens booked in jails across the United States so that federal law enforcement officials can prioritize their removal.

Secure Communities, created in 2008, is a simple and successful program to identify criminal aliens once arrested and jailed. It protects Americans from public safety threats and those who could be a danger to their communities. Instead of continuing to utilize this successful existing system that is required and appropriated by Congress, the Obama administration will implement a new, untested program called the “Priorities Enforcement Program.”

Under the new screening program, the Obama administration ignores some of its own enforcement priorities for the purposes of processing aliens for removal and turns a blind eye to most unlawful immigrants booked in jails across the United States. Additionally, the Obama administration permits sanctuary city policies by effectively leaving states and localities with the choice of whether or not to comply with the federal government’s requests for notification about criminal aliens booked in their jails.

President Obama’s new legalization program for unlawful immigrants also unfairly punishes legal immigrants playing by the rules and seeking to come to the U.S. the right way.

As U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services shifts attention and resources to the processing of applications for unlawful immigrants, legal immigrants will face longer wait times for their petitions to be processed. This was true under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has allowed over 600,000 unlawful immigrants to stay here so far.

With over five million unlawful immigrants standing to benefit from President Obama’s new executive decree, legal immigrants will only face longer wait times, even though they’ve already paid the fees to have their applications processed.

Furthermore, President Obama’s actions open the floodgates to another wave of illegal immigration.

In the past, our nation has witnessed the surge in illegal immigration that comes when amnesty is promised and the enforcement of our immigration laws is ignored. This was true after the 1986 immigration overhaul and the implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in the summer of 2012, which encouraged hundreds of thousands of unaccompanied minors, family units, and adults to flood our borders.

Ironically, although President Obama has stated in the past that these individuals will be sent home, under his new enforcement priorities, if they came here before January 1, 2014 – which many of them did – they will likely be able to stay.

Additionally, since the Obama administration has not deemed immigration-related crimes a priority for enforcement – such as identity theft, document fraud, and refusing to comply with removal orders – this sends the message that breaking our immigration laws and committing crimes that often follow illegal entry are permissible. Collectively, the president’s actions undermine the integrity of our immigration system.

I, and many other members of Congress, want to reform our nation’s immigration system. But the president’s decision to act on his own and ignore the enforcement of our immigration laws is not the right way to do it.

These unilateral immigration actions are a danger to our Constitution, communities, and immigration system and must be stopped.

The House Judiciary Committee, which has primary jurisdiction over our nation’s immigration laws, will fight President Obama’s unconstitutional actions and will shine light on and correct the Obama administration’s anti-enforcement policies.

Republican Bob Goodlatte represents Virginia's 6th congressional district in the House of Representatives. He is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.


Posted by Randy | November 25, 2014
I’m sure by now you have heard the Administration’s justification for executive action on immigration: that Presidents Bush, Reagan, and “every president in the last 70 years” have acted unilaterally to address the immigration system.

We could spend our time pointing out key differences between past presidents' actions on immigration, and the current Administration’s sweeping executive order, which will impact roughly 5 million people who are illegally in this country.

But instead, I would like to focus on a different reason this is not justification for unconstitutional action. And that is because this is not about politics. It’s not about one person. It’s not about one party. If a Republican president issued the same executive order, it would be just as wrong. This is about principles. Our nation was founded on the fundamental premise that the law is the ultimate authority – not the preferences of elected officials, the will of an elite minority, or the whims of an executive. This respect for the rule of law is what has defined our country since the day the words, “We the People… “ were scrawled in ink on parchment, and the Constitution of the United States of America was birthed as the Supreme Law of the Land and a testament to freedom, justice, and equality under the law.

Our heritage is a nation of immigrants. But let us not forget our heritage is also a nation founded upon the integrity of the rule of law. The Constitution doesn’t play favorites, and it has no respect for partisan politics. The law is the law. It must be respected.

As a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, I am working with Chairman Goodlatte and the other Committee Members to use every tool at the Committee’s disposal to fight against this executive overreach. Keep updated on our fight by connecting with me on facebook or visiting my website.

Posted by Randy | November 20, 2014
For me, no amnesty means no amnesty. Broad amnesty. Narrow amnesty. It doesn't matter. Entry into this country is a privilege, not a right.

For the Administration to act unilaterally to change our immigration laws is a blatant disregard of the separation of powers as laid out in the Constitution. I have strongly urged the President not to proceed with granting executive amnesty to millions of people who are in this country illegally, and not to diminish our institutions, our Constitution, and our nation’s foundation built on the rule of law. The integrity of the law, and more importantly, the integrity of our government, demand nothing less.

Amnesty won’t fix what is broken. An executive order granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants not only undermines our current immigration policy, but also perpetuates the problem by encouraging more illegal immigration. That’s why I have, and will continue to, strongly oppose amnesty of any form. I have also:
  • Opposed the release of criminal illegal immigrants;
  • Demanded deportation of illegal immigrant gang members;
  • Opposed the Administration’s actions to selectively enforce our laws and defer deportation;
  • Strongly support securing the border as our first priority;
  • Opposed the closure of border patrol stations;
  • Supported legislation to verify employment;
  • Demanded answers from the President about the taxpayer dollars being spent to house, feed, and transport the unaccompanied minors crossing our border;
  • Voted to prohibit federal funds or resources to authorize deferred action for any class of illegal immigrants moving forward, and prevent federal funding or resources from being used to authorize work permits for immigrants not lawfully present in the United States.          

I will continue to be unrelenting in my demand that the Administration enforce the laws of this nation as the Constitution requires them to do. As a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, I will continue to fight to support the rule of law and uphold Congress’ duty to hold the executive branch accountable for its actions.

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