WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-AL) today voted to pass a critical appropriations bill aimed at stemming the recent influx of illegal immigrants by beefing up border security and closing a legal loophole currently being exploited by human traffickers.
Supporting this key measure is part of keeping a commitment to secure the border first, Rep. Roby said.
“The situation at the Mexican border is out of control,” Rep. Roby said. “We must beef up our border security and close the trafficking law loophole that is a root cause of this current influx.”
Disparate opinions over the details of the bill dragged negotiations out for an extra day, which actually made the bill stronger, Rep. Roby said.
“Ultimately the continued negotiations produced a stronger bill to address the border crisis. Our bill prioritizes funding toward border security and reuniting the unaccompanied children with their parents in their home countries.
“More time also allowed for strengthening language aimed to prevent the government from housing detained immigrants at military bases like Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery. I want to thank my colleague Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) for his diligent work on that issue.”
The bill expressly prohibits the housing of unauthorized immigrants on military bases if it will displace service members or interfere with military activities at the installation. Reps. Roby and Rogers spoke out against such an arrangement last week.
Later tonight the House will vote on a measure aimed to prevent President Obama from using the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to issue de facto amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants already in the country. Rep. Roby strongly supports the measure.
The supplemental appropriations bill, H.R. 5230, allocates $405 million for enhanced border protection and law enforcement, including:
·$334 million for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to address the rise in unaccompanied immigrant children at the Mexican border;
·$71 million for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for detention, processing and transportation of illegal immigrants;
Additionally, the bill allocates $70 million to double the National Guard presence at the border, and $22 million to speed up judicial proceedings in immigrant cases.
In all, the supplemental appropriations bill totals $694 million, the entire cost of which is offset by recessions from other areas of federal spending.
As for the human trafficking law changes, H.R. 5230 amends the The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (PL 110-457), which currently governs how American law enforcement deals with unaccompanied children detained at the border. The law revision would allow for faster processing and removal of detained children arriving from Central America.