Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Chambliss, Isakson Introduce Legislation to Help Local and State Law Enforcement Combat Illegal Immigration

U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today unveiled legislation to address the current illegal population in the United States and provide state and local law enforcement officials on the ground with the necessary tools to be effective partners in the enforcement of our immigration laws.

The legislation, “The Effective Immigration Enforcement Partnerships Act of 2008,” was introduced as part of a major conservative Republican rollout of 15 specific bills, each designed to secure the borders, increase enforcement at the workplace and restore law and order to our nation’s immigration system. A similar bill, the “Charlie Norwood CLEAR Act” (H.R. 3494), has been introduced by U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-TN, in the U.S. House of Representatives. The late U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood, R-Ga., first introduced the CLEAR Act in 2003.

The coalition is calling for full Senate consideration on each of the individual bills as amendments to any appropriate legislative vehicle this year. Additionally, Chambliss and Isakson announced the formation of the Border Security and Enforcement First Caucus. The Caucus will be a platform to let Americans know that some in the U.S. Senate are continuing to make sure that the laws already on the books will be enforced, act as the voice of those concerned citizens who have expressed their opinions time and time again for interior enforcement and border security, push for stronger border security and interior enforcement legislation and work together in the U.S. Senate to defeat future legislation that offers amnesty.

“There are so many cases that clearly show that state and local law enforcement are the front lines of combating crimes committed by illegal immigrants,” said Chambliss. “They are critical force multipliers but they are currently underutilized by their federal partners. During last year’s immigration bill debate, we listened and heard overwhelmingly from the American people that they do not trust the federal government to enforce our immigration laws. Taking immediate action to secure our borders and stop illegal immigration is the best way to restore credibility with the American people. We said last year that we are going to keep pounding this issue and that is what we are doing today in unveiling these proposals.”

“Every day, our state and local communities face the repercussions of a national immigration problem the federal government has looked the other way on for too long. This bill is essential to giving state and local law enforcement the common-sense means to be successful partners with federal immigration officials,” Isakson said. “There’s no greater domestic issue in this country than the problems on our southern border with Mexico, and it is time that Congress makes a commitment to make border security a reality. It is time we stop making promises. It is time we start delivering solutions. America is too important, and this issue is too critical to the American people.”

Specifically, the Chambliss-Isakson legislation facilitates the formation of effective enforcement partnerships with state and local law enforcement by:

Clarifying their authority to enforce federal immigration laws during their normal course of duty
Expanding the 287(g) program to every state
Offering a basic training course for all state and local law enforcement officers
Compensating state and local entities for immigration enforcement related expenses
Expanding the National Crime Information Center’s Immigration Violators File to include:
(1) aliens against whom a final order of removal has been issued;
(2) aliens who have signed a voluntary departure agreement;
(3) aliens who have overstayed their authorized period of stay; and
(4) aliens whose visas have been revoked.

No comments: