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 PRESS RELEASE: 11/15/05

Walden Cosponsors Legislation to Protect America's Borders and Curb Illegal Immigration

True Enforcement and Border Security Act enhances law enforcement, tightens borders, reduces incentives to illegal immigration

WASHINGTON, DC - As part of an ongoing effort to increase security along U.S. borders and curb illegal immigration, Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) became an original cosponsor of the True Enforcement and Border Security Act, H.R. 4313, introduced yesterday by Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA).  H.R. 4313 addresses many key issues surrounding enhanced immigration control including the completion of additional fencing along the southern U.S. border, sharply increasing the number of border patrol agents and detention capabilities, and eliminating benefits that entice illegal immigrants to America. 

"Illegal immigrants continue to cross our nation's borders creating an overwhelming burden on taxpayers through increased costs of education and health care, and, most importantly, they can pose a threat to homeland security.  Enhanced patrols, greater authority given to local officials, the construction of additional physical barriers along the border, and many other provisions in H.R. 4313 will help curb illegal immigration," said Walden, a member of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus.  "While there is no 'silver bullet' in the ongoing fight against illegal immigration, the True Enforcement and Border Security Act will go a long way toward advancing our efforts."

The True Enforcement and Border Security Act is a comprehensive piece of legislation drafted in a collaborative process that takes into consideration the many different legislative proposals that have been suggested in the House and Senate this year.  H.R. 4313 would:

  • Create a border security zone from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico with 25 additional ports of entry, calling on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to incorporate fencing, roads and technology infrastructure along the nation's border with Mexico;
  • Authorize 5,000 new border patrol officers, 1,250 immigration investigators, 500 adjudicators and 2,000 worksite investigators;
  • Affirm inherent authority of state and local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws and require reimbursement to such agencies for their cooperation in immigration enforcement;
  • Withhold funding from the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) from states and localities with sanctuary policies to protect illegal or criminal aliens; 
  • Halt current "catch and release" practices by increasing federal detention space;
  • Make illegal immigration less attractive by withholding U.S. citizenship from babies born on American soil to illegal aliens;
  • Give DHS the discretion to suspend immigration procedures and benefits to criminal aliens and terrorists;
  • Establish a framework that will allow employers to verify, at the time of hire, that an applicant is in the U.S. legally and eligible for employment;
  • Increase penalties and prevent employers from hiring illegal aliens through an improved Social Security identification card and verification system;
  • Prevent illegal aliens from collecting Social Security and claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit; and,
  • Increase penalties for forging immigration and identity documents, falsely claiming U.S. citizenship and alien smuggling.

More information on H.R. 4313 can be found at http://thomas.loc.gov.

Congressman Walden represents the Second District of Oregon, which contains 20 counties in central, southern and eastern Oregon.  He is a Deputy Whip in the House leadership structure and a member of the House Committees on Resources and Energy & Commerce. 





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