Congressman Jim McGovern

Representing the 2nd District of Massachussetts
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McGovern: House GOP’s Anti-Immigrant Bill Hurts Local Police Efforts to Keep Communities Safe

Jul 23, 2015
Press Release
Two Years After Senate Passed Strong Bipartisan Immigration Reform, House GOP Push “Donald Trump Act” Instead of Real Solutions

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-02), a senior House Democrat, spoke on the House floor on H. Res. 370, the rule on H.R. 3009, the Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act. The bill is opposed by the Major County Sheriffs’ Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Criminal Justice Association, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities, and many more. Watch full video here.

Excerpts from Congressman McGovern’s floor speech today:

“H.R. 3009 paints itself as the remedy […] But it does nothing to address how to improve communication between our law enforcement, immigration, prosecutors, and penal institutions.

“Instead, H.R. 3009 chose to penalize local law enforcement agencies […] when they prioritize working with immigrant communities in order to keep neighborhoods, cities and towns safe..[I]t deliberately and cynically undermines their ability to protect their communities, nurture public trust in the police and our legal system, and strengthen public safety.

"This bill reeks of prejudice. It isn't mean to solve any problem, it's meant to punish cities that don't embrace the views of anti-immigrant extremists. It's mean to demonize all immigrants as criminals.

“This House continues to wait and wait for the Republican majority to show some leadership and bring up a comprehensive immigration reform bill.  It’s been more than two years since the Senate passed a strong, bipartisan immigration reform bill and we’re still waiting for House Republicans to act…[T]his bill is just more of the same, old, divisive Republican anti-immigrant formula. America is better than this.”

The full text of Congressman McGovern’s floor speech is below. Watch full video here.

As Prepared For Delivery:

“I rise in opposition to this closed rule. This process is an absolute outrage. I also rise in strong opposition to H.R. 3009.

“Along with all my colleagues and every American, my heart goes out to the family of Kathryn Steinle.  The murder of every innocent person is a tragedy, and after each such heinous crime, we always ask ourselves could this have been avoided?  Could we have done something differently?

“H.R. 3009 paints itself as the remedy to Kathryn Steinle’s death.  But it does nothing to address how to improve communication between our law enforcement, immigration, prosecutors, and penal institutions. Nor does it improve the protocols and practices of how decisions are made on the release or transfer of a prisoner against whom ICE has lodged a detainer request.  

“Instead, H.R. 3009 chose to penalize local law enforcement agencies, strip them of their federal grants and funding, when they prioritize working with immigrant communities in order to keep neighborhoods, cities and towns safe.  Republicans would rather demonize these cities and local law enforcement agencies and force them to squander scarce local resources on immigration enforcement instead of local policing. In effect, H.R. 3009 will make our cities and communities less safe, rather than more secure.

“This is why law enforcement and city governments oppose this bill – it deliberately and cynically undermines their ability to protect their communities, nurture public trust in the police and our legal system, and strengthen public safety.  H.R. 3009 is opposed by the Major County Sheriffs’ Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Criminal Justice Association, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities.

“This bill reeks of prejudice. It isn’t meant to solve any problem.  It’s meant to punish cities that don’t embrace the views of anti-immigrant extremists. It’s meant to demonize all immigrants as criminals.  It means to punish any city, any police officer, any sheriff and any cop-on-the-beat who challenges the Republican anti-immigrant orthodoxy of “Hate-them-all” and “Deport-them-all” – deport the DREAMers, deport the parents of U.S. citizens, deport children fleeing violence, deport, deport, deport.

“This House continues to wait and wait for the Republican majority to show some leadership and bring up a comprehensive immigration reform bill.  It’s been more than two years since the Senate passed a strong, bipartisan immigration reform bill and we’re still waiting for House Republicans to act. What we need is a way to bring 11 million of our neighbors, friends, colleagues, small business owners, and hard-working residents out of the shadows.  Let them register, be documented, and not fear talking with the police. And let us recognize their achievements and contributions to the American way of life. 

“This bill had no hearings, no mark-up, no input from local law enforcement, no regular order. In fact, in the topsy-turvy world of the Republican House, the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration Subcommittee is holding its first hearing on this topic today, this morning, when this bill is already here on the House floor for debate and votes later today. 

“No, this bill is just more of the same, old, divisive Republican anti-immigrant formula. America is better than this.  I urge my colleagues to reject this closed rule and to oppose the underlying bill.”

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