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Mobilising Against Sanctuary Cities Act

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Mr. Speaker,

     Let's clarify a few things.  First, I have never advocated that undocumented immigrants' crimes are excused.  Punishing Sanctuary Cities is not going to reduce crime; it is going to harm the members of that community who are American citizens.  Not sure how this isn't registering with you, Mr. Speaker.  I am saying that one should not judge ALL people by the actions of a few.  The black and white fallacy or All or Nothing fallacy is quite disturbing.  Not ALL undocumented immigrants commit crimes just as not ALL Americans commit crimes.  That would be like saying that just because the Republican leadership rants and raves about racism, ALL Republicans are racist.  That is not true.  There are some great Republicans who have strong values and morals. And then there is the GOP leadership. 

     My statements do not excuse crime, these statements protect innocent American people from being punished for Republican bigotry.  To counter with some references of my own regarding undocumented immigrants and crime,  *the libertarian Cato Institute, recently looked at criminality among undocumented immigrants just in Texas. The state records the immigration status of arrestees, creating a gold mine for criminologists.  Cato found that in 2015, criminal conviction and arrest rates in Texas for undocumented immigrants were lower than those of native-born Americans for murder, sexual assault and larceny. Art Acevedo, the police chief in Houston, which has one of largest undocumented populations in the nation has been critical of the immigration crackdown.  He has said, "There's no wave of crime being committed by the immigrant community.  As a matter of fact, a lot of the violent crime that we're dealing with is being committed by people that are born and raised right here in the United States."  There is no excuse to commit a crime, but there is also no excuse for taking funding away from communities you happen to politically disagree with and make the American people suffer.  We can improve the undocumented immigration system without harming the American people.  The actions of this bill will be more devastating than any undocumented immigrant.  When children in child homes lose their ability to have a meal, when people in low-income housing get booted on the streets, when police departments downsize and reduce their ability to protect their communities, the American people can thank the Republican leadership in this chamber for withholding their funding due to bigotry.

     Secondly, we have some serious disagreements over the preamble of the Constitution.  May I remind you of the opening sequence,  We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  ** This means that human equality goes deeper than just political equality. In this sense, all people are considered of equal value and worth, or equal in the eyes of God. All are created moral equals.  The Constitution does not provide undocumented immigrants with "the general welfare" and other factors prescribed in the preamble; however, they do have inalienable rights endowed by God.  This isn't my religious beliefs.  These are the founding fathers' beliefs.  Maybe you should take them more seriously.

     **An interesting fact that you probably didn't know about one of our founding fathers is that in the Virginia Declaration of Rights that was written by Thomas Jefferson, he said, "That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety."  These inalienable rights are for those willing to align their interests with the community they reside in.   Thomas Jefferson and our Founding Fathers did not believe inalienable rights were only for American citizens.  That is absurdly naive.  These are inherent values prescribed to each and every human being.  These values are what makes America the leader of the world.  Our beliefs that mankind has value in each of its members, and that each member is prescribed life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness by some greater power other than ourselves.  Not long ago, people believed that "All men are created equal" did not apply to women because it says "men" and should only apply to men.  Others interpreted that phrase to mean "All free men" or "All white men."  Throughout the course of history, those people have been proven wrong.  Today, we stand again and question if "All men are created equal" applies only to those who are American or if each and every human being is created equal and deserving of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Which side of history would you like to be on, Mr. Speaker?  Fellow members of this house?  The side of equality and opportunity or the side of bigotry?  

     We do not have to give undocumented immigrants the same benefits as US citizens, no one is saying that; however, we should not treat them with disrespect, hate, or ignorance nor believe that inalienable rights don't apply to them because of where they were born or what their ethnicity is.

     I hope your opinion of religion and your statement, "whatever one's beliefs about God should not influence the government of our country" will be the same when we discuss women's rights, abortion, and any LGBT issues.  And again, is anybody else going to verbally agree with you on this floor? Or is this stance of your's just too embarrassing for anyone else with a conscience to express here on the house floor?

 Mr. Speaker, I yield.

 

 

References:

* https://www.npr.org/2018/05/02/607652253/studies-say-illegal-immigration-does-not-increase-violent-crime

**http://www.civiced.org/resources/curriculum/911-and-the-constitution/terms-to-know

 

Edited by Doomhammer

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Mr. Speaker,

    Putting aside extremely pressing moral concerns with this bill, let's consider the economic impact. In a 2007 review of academic literature, the CBO reported that "over the past two decades, most efforts to estimate the fiscal impact of immigration in the United States have concluded that, in aggregate and over the long term, tax revenues of all types generated by immigrants—both legal and unauthorized—exceed the cost of the services they use."

    More pressingly, these illegals form a vital part of many economic sectors. Using the threat of federal funding to force cities depending on immigrant labor to suddenly deport a very significant portion of their population would cause a labor shortage and economic shock. Nobody in their right mind who cares about the US economy could possibly support this.

    Additionally, this is hardly a crisis. The illegal immigrant population has declined every year since 2007--the problem is going away, not getting worse, as more people are being naturalized and less people are crossing the border illegally. Trying to claim otherwise is just fearmongering.

    It is interesting that the people who claim to be the most libertarian most vehemently push for anti-libertarian policies such as this. The federal government has no place forcing cities to adopt policies that are extremely unpopular within those cities. Republicans are always talking about why the founding fathers gave states legislative independence from the federal government--and this is exactly why. I am in agreement with the writers of our constitution when I say that a farmer in rural Wyoming or Utah has no place enforcing their reactionary social policy on a resident of San Diego or El Paso. I ask that the Republican party live up to its claimed libertarian ideals.

I yield.

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Mr. Speaker,

A few things.

First, for those of y’all following along at home, when the Gentleman from Arkansas calls us nationalistic, what that means is that we’re doing what is best for America.

Second, again, polls don’t determine the course of our country – elections do.

Third, most Evangelicals – at least those back home in my district – support the enforcement of America’s immigration laws. Sanctuary cities hinder the enforcement of those laws.

I yield.
 

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Mr, Speaker.

For our friends watching us who didnt understand what the gentleman from Texas just said, I’ll give a translation.

When he says he’s “doing the best for America.” He means he’s doing the best for anyone he doesn’t think belongs. The gentleman has already been shown to be against multiculturalism and against Latinos. So he means that he is doing the best for a straight, white, male, America. Much unlike what our founding fathers dreamed of when they founded this country.

Next, he thinks that the opinion of the people doesn’t change over four years and thinks that polls don’t matter, only elections. What he’s saying is that his party doesn’t care about the American people unless it’s a year that matters. While for me and my democratic colleagues we believe in listening to Americans at all times of the year. So if polls say Americans are for sanctuary cities, then we will listen to you. Because the GOP has stopped listening to you. All they listen to are big money PAC donations.

Lastly, doesn’t the Bible say to love thy neighbor. The gentleman cannot just pick and choose scripture to follow based on what fits his agenda. And didn’t the speaker say and I quote “appeals to religion should be disregarded.” Evangelicals, the gop doesn’t actually care about you. They care about the money you donate. Just keep that in mind this November.

I yield.

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Mr. Speaker,

Can the Gentleman from Colorado show specific examples where I have made explicit statements against multiculturalism and Latinos? This is a pretty wild accusation to be making, particularly from a member of party leadership. My wife is Vietnamese, and we have a bi-racial child. There are plenty of Latinos in my district, most of them are here legally, and I have no issues with any of them. Ironically, the merit-based immigration system I have been pushing would be MORE multicultural than the arbitrary system of mass immigration we have today. Furthermore, the immigration vision that we are proposing is much closer to what the founders intended than what we currently have. In 1790 James Madison said the goal of immigration should be “to increase the wealth and strength of the community; and those who acquire the rights of citizenship, without adding to the strength or wealth of the community are not the people we are in want of.” The founders did not envision a broken system with unenforced laws where people enter the country illegally or because they won a lottery or because they're someone's second cousin. And finally, if anyone will be getting the lions share of the PAC funding from this debate, it will likely be the Democrats. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – big business and big donors like the cheap labor illegal immigrants provide and they oppose legislation such as this. 

I yield. 
 

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Mr, Speaker.

Disregarding the fact that only 2% of Americans would be able to immigrate here under the merit based system and disregarding the fact that the gentleman from Texas would not be able to immigrate here, I will recite a few lines from a poem. You all might recognize it.

”Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

This poem is called, The New Collossus. It was written by Emma Lazarus. It sits on a plaque on liberty island right next to the Statue of Liberty. This is what our founding fathers thought of. Not turning away refugees at the border.

I yield.

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By a vote of 143-269 Ward 1 amendment fails, by a vote of 192-243 the motion to table fails, by a vote of 243-192 Faulhammer 1 amendment is accepted, debate continues

Edited by Kurt Faulhammer

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Mr. Speaker,

The whole point of merit-based immigration is to bring people into the country who have skills and abilities that we are currently lacking. It’s not to bring in clones of people we already have. That being said, I don’t know how the Gentleman from Colorado would have any idea whether or not I would be allowed to enter the country – not that it even matters.

I yield. 
 

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Mr, Speaker.

This is not a debate on merit-based immigration, though I would love to have that debate at a proper time, this is a debate on sanctuary cities. But I have made my point clear. This nation is a nation of immigrants. This nation is a melting pot of all cultures. Not just the ones we think look the most like us. That is why I will vote no on this bill. My district is a sanctuary city. My constituents elected a Democratic mayor, a democratic city council, and a democratic governor because they believe in sanctuary cities and they believe in humanity. So I say again, I will not vote on this shameful bill.

I yield. 

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*Hands off gavel*

Mr. Speaker,

Firstly I would like to address the gentlewoman from California in regards to my statement "whatever one's beliefs about God should not influence the government of our country" and I would like to respond yes I will not use religious arguments in discussion of women's rights, abortion, and LGBT issues. I serve a constituency that has both religious and non-religious members and it is a disservice to those of no or differing faiths to mine to be making decisions or arguments based on my religious beliefs.

Secondly, in response to the gentleman from Colorado, there is no proposed merit based legislation currently in the House so the reference of only 2% would be able to immigrate to the United States is based on nothing but imagination. Secondly in reference to Emma Lazarus's poem, the Status of Liberty was never intended to be seen as an invitation to come to the United States and the poem was not included in the original construction. Originally the statue was conceived by French abolitionist Edouard de Laboulaye as a celebration of Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation of the slaves, the end of the civil war, and the abolition of slavery. Nothing to do with immigration. In 1883 Lazarus was asked to donate a poem to fund the statue's construction and the New Colossus was the poem she submitted. The Statue of Liberty was finished in 1886, the poem was first published in 1901, and was added to the statue in 1903. So the poem has nothing to do with the statue's erection or dedication and was only added 17 years after the statue was raised. America has had many and varied immigration policies before, during, and after the Statue of Liberty's dedication. At no point in time did the statue stand for or act as a guide for immigration policies not does it represent any sort of immigration "founding principle" or any previous "American tradition" where it concerns immigration. America is not only great because of newcomers. Immigration is not the core value of the United States just because our country has taken and currently is taking in more immigrants than any other country. Sanctuary cities are an insult to the rule of law and an insult to our law enforcement officers who politicians are telling to risk their lives to reprehend illegal aliens released back onto the streets. The lives lost due to these policies should not be put after economic profits as the minority party seems to be insisting, not that the case of illegal immigration representing a financial burden to the public has not already been made.  

I yield

*Hands on gavel*

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Mr. Speaker,

The dedication of the Statue of Liberty by President Cleveland states, 

“we joyously contemplate instead our own deity keeping watch and ward before the open gates of America and greater than all that have been celebrated in ancient song.Instead of grasping in her hand thunderbolts of terror and of death, she holds aloft the light which illumines the way to man's enfranchisement. We will not forget that Liberty has here made her home, nor shall her chosen altar be neglected. Willing votaries will constantly keep alive its fires and these shall gleam upon the shores of our sister Republic thence, and joined with answering rays a stream of light shall pierce the darkness of ignorance and man's oppression, until Liberty enlightens the world.”

Lady Liberty watches over the gates of our county. So don’t you dare say she doesn’t represent this country being a melting pot of diversity because you are wrong! It has been a symbol of our multicultural country from the day it was erected!

I yield.

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HATCH: Mr. President, the following bill has passed by a vote of 243-193 in the House and 52-48 in the Senate and awaits your signature or veto. Should you choose to do neither within the next 10 days, the bill will become law, since Congress is in session.

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