Idaho 1st District GOP Rep. Raul Labrador’s immigration enforcement crackdown bill cleared the House Judiciary Committee today on a party-line vote, with 19 Republicans supporting it and 13 Democrats opposing it. The bill would add 12,500 additional armed federal immigration officers, penalize sanctuary cities, enlist state and local police in federal immigration enforcement, impose new criminal penalties and step up detentions and deportations.
“I am very pleased the committee approved my bill today,” Labrador said in a statement. “The Davis-Oliver Act is a first and necessary step to modernize a broken immigration system. We need to give law enforcement at all levels the tools and resources they need to keep America safe and secure, and the Davis-Oliver Act does that. While other immigration reforms are needed, my bill is vital to a long-term fix. I want to thank Chairman Goodlatte and my committee colleagues for approving it, and I look forward to getting it passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law.”
Democrats on the committee decried the measure as “President Trump’s mass deportation act,” and charged that the bill has serious constitutional problems, would waste billions on rounding up and detaining people who pose no danger, and would actually increase crime in U.S. communities, by forcing undocumented people “into the shadows” where they’d be afraid to report crimes they’d witnessed or suffered, for fear of deportation. They unsuccessfully proposed a series of amendments to the bill.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, who is co-sponsoring Labrador’s bill and chairs the committee, said, “The Davis-Oliver Act delivers on our responsibility to ensure that immigration reform starts with enforcement. Enforcing our laws now will deter future illegal immigration. Furthermore, while most unlawful immigrants come to the U.S. seeking a better life for themselves and their families, there are too many others who commit crimes against Americans.”
Goodlatte, in a statement, added, “I thank Representative Labrador for introducing this much needed bill and urge House leadership to bring it up for a vote soon.”