Washington, D.C. -- House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), House Judiciary Committee Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), and House Homeland Security Committee Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee Chairwoman Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) introduced the Securing America's Future Act (H.R. 4760). This bill bolsters enforcement of existing immigration law, makes important reforms to our legal immigration programs, secures the border, and provides a legislative solution for the current beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The Securing America's Future Act includes numerous reforms to ensure the enforcement of our immigration laws in the interior of our country. The legislation aims to reduce the number of individuals who overstay their visas, requires employers to use the E-Verify system to ensure that they hire legal workers, and makes it easier to remove individuals who are gang members and other criminals. Additionally, the legislation cracks down on dangerous sanctuary cities by withholding federal grants and prevents fraud and abuse in the asylum system.
The Securing America's Future Act reforms our legal immigration programs by ending chain migration, ending the Diversity Visa program, increasing the number of green cards available for skilled workers, and creating a new, workable agricultural guestworker program for America’s farmers and ranchers.
The bill strengthens the security of our southern border by authorizing the construction of a border wall, investing in new technology, and improving, modernizing, and expanding ports of entry. The bill also calls for an additional 5,000 Border Patrol Agents and 5,000 Customs and Border Protection Officers and requires the use of a biometric Entry-Exit system at all ports of entry.
Finally, the Securing America’s Future Act allows DACA beneficiaries to receive a 3-year renewable legal status, while ensuring that gang members, individuals who have criminal convictions, or convictions in juvenile court for serious crimes are not eligible for legal status.
Below are statements from House Judiciary and Homeland Security Committee leaders on the introduction of the Securing America's Future Act.
Chairman Goodlatte: “Years of lax enforcement policies have wreaked havoc on our borders. Millions of people have been allowed to flout our immigration laws. We can’t let these dangerous and foolish policies continue.
“With the introduction of the Securing America’s Future Act we have an historic opportunity to fix our broken immigration system. The only way to reduce illegal immigration is to address both enforcement of our immigration laws in the interior of our country and to secure our borders. This carefully crafted legislation, which is aligned with the White House's immigration priorities, combines enforcement measures and increased border security to enhance public safety, ensure the door remains open to law-abiding immigrants, and restore the rule of law.
“I thank Chairman McCaul and Representatives Labrador and McSally for working with me on the Securing America’s Future Act and we look forward to working with the Administration and Members of the House and Senate to see these important reforms implemented."
Chairman McCaul: “Our current border security and immigration system is failing the American people. For too long drug smugglers, human traffickers, and transnational gang members like MS-13 have exploited our vulnerabilities at our borders. It’s time to end this crisis once and for all. This bill offers common-sense solutions that will finally secure our borders, better support our frontline defenders, strengthen interior enforcement, and get tough on those who break our immigration laws. With this President at the helm, we have the opportunity to provide the security and rule of law our founding fathers intended. I am proud to offer these reasonable solutions with my colleagues and look forward to finally solving these challenges in the near future.”
Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Labrador: “The purpose of our legislation is simple: to help President Trump keep his promise to the American people to fix our broken immigration system. Our bill will modernize America’s immigration system for the next generation, enacting conservative reforms that will make our nation strong. These reforms include authorizing funding for the border wall, stronger interior enforcement, mandatory E-Verify, and ending chain migration and the diversity visa lottery. Our bill will also strengthen our economy and create jobs by transitioning to a merit-based legal immigration system that puts the needs of the American people first.
“I want to thank my colleagues – Chairman Goodlatte, Chairman McCaul, and Representative McSally – for joining me in introducing this bill. Should it become law, it will be one of the most consequential conservative bills of our lifetime.”
Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee Chairwoman McSally: “Our unsecure border and broken immigration system threaten our country’s safety and prosperity; no one knows this better than Arizona. As if the most recent terrorist attacks don’t stand as reason enough, sophisticated drug cartels, human traffickers, and an opioid crisis all point to the need for action. Now is the time.
“Our legislation finally strengthens America’s borders. It moves us towards a merit-based immigration system. It includes funds for necessary infrastructure, interior law enforcement, a biometric exit-entry system, and an e-verify system for employers so that our immigration laws are enforced. It cracks down on sanctuary cities and focuses on public safety of our citizens like Kate Steinle who was killed by a man deported 5 times. And it also puts more boots on the border and supports our Border Patrol Agents and CBP officers on the frontlines. America is the most generous and welcoming nation in the world, and that will continue. But we won’t be taken advantage of any longer. This bill delivers on what the American people want and what our President has requested, and I urge my colleagues to join us and support it.”
Original cosponsors of the Securing America’s Future Act also include Judiciary Committee Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and House Appropriations Committee Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairman John Carter (R-Texas).
Op-ed from Chairmen Goodlatte and McCaul and Representatives Labrador and McSally