WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) today released the following statement after voting against H.R. 6 and H.R. 1603, two immigration bills that would worsen the crisis on our southern border and incentivize more illegal immigration.
“Whether or not the Biden Administration wants to admit it, there’s a crisis on our southern border. Given they can’t even acknowledge the reality of the situation, it should come as no surprise that President Biden and House Democrats have refused to work across the aisle and decided to pursue policies that will only make the crisis worse.
“Instead of pouring fuel on the fire, it’s critical we take a step back and work together to secure our border, support border patrol agents, and crack down on the cartels exploiting this crisis. I’ve introduced legislation that does just that and stand ready to work with my colleagues to chart a path forward that puts forward real solutions to address this real crisis.”
Earlier this year, Rep. Gallagher introduced a number of common-sense border security bills that would combat corruption in Mexico, restore fairness in our immigration system, and crackdown on cartels. These bills include:
- R. 1687: Significant Transnational Criminal Organization Designation Act
- The Significant Transnational Criminal Organization Designation Act enables the federal government to impose on the most significant Transnational Criminal Organizations the same sanctions that apply to Foreign Terrorist Organizations including:
- Barring organization members and their immediate families from admission to the United States.
- Freezing assets.
- Seeking civil and criminal penalties against Individuals providing material assistance or resources to the organization.
- R. 1120: Empowering Immigration Courts Act
- This bill would give immigration judges the authority to impose criminal fines on anyone in contempt of their court. Existing law allows for the Attorney General to define regulations to impose fines, but none have been put in place since the law’s enactment 22 years ago.
- The Heritage Foundation published a studyindicating that this lack of authority means those that come before the court “cannot be held accountable to the judge with respect to matters such as timelines, docketing dates, or even court orders.”
- R. 1121: Illicit Arms Trafficking Security Enforcement Act
- This bill would establish a Border Enforcement Security Team (BEST) within the Department of Homeland Security to focus solely on the reduction of arms trafficking. Of the current 57 BESTs, none are solely dedicated to arms trafficking.
- The purposes of the team would be to: reduce arms smuggling of weapons, weapon parts, munitions, explosives, and related items; apprehend arms smugglers; ensure coordination with ATF for data tracking of seized firearms through eTrace; deconflict arms trafficking investigations between DHS and DOJ.
- A recent GAO report found that 70% of weapons seized from cartels are smuggled across the border from the US to Mexico. This would ensure arms trafficking in and out of the country was better monitored and at a minimum would help ensure American companies aren’t unwittingly supplying cartels with weapons.
- R. 1122:Supporting Mexico Against Corruption (SMAC) Act
- This bill would combat corruption by requiring the President to impose Magnitsky Sanctions on individuals in the Mexican government that the U.S. Treasury Department has “credible evidence” engaged in corrupt activities outlined by the Global Magnitsky Act. Under the SMAC Act, the President would have 120 days to implement these sanctions.
The Treasury Department has only sanctioned one Mexican government official for corruption and human rights abuses under the Magnitsky Act since passing the act in 2016. This would require the President to sanction anyone who meets the standards under the Magnitsky Act to help deter officials from aiding cartels.