WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Goodlatte will host a Sixth District Women’s Conference in Roanoke on August 1, 2014. Attendees will hear from leaders in government, business, health care, law, and education on a variety of topics including leadership, jobs, economic development, and human trafficking. Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) will be the keynote speaker. This event is free and open to the public.
Goodlatte: “During my travels around the Sixth District, I have had the distinct opportunity to meet many inspiring women. Whether they are a CEO, a teacher, an elected official, a doctor, a stay-at-home mom, a soldier, or a coach, I know that without their contributions our economy and communities in the Sixth District and throughout the nation would falter. I hope that this conference will be a positive opportunity for women in the Sixth District to engage with others, access valuable resources, and hear more from our speakers about some of the major issues facing our nation today. I am honored to have Congresswoman Ann Wagner as the keynote speaker. She is a tireless advocate in the fight against human trafficking, a mother of three, and a public servant. I look forward to hearing her message.”
Friday, August 1, 2014
Resource Fair: 8:00am – 9:00am
Program: 9:00am – 12:00pm
Virginia Western Community College
3099 Colonial Avenue SW
Roanoke, Virginia 24015
Those interested in attending can register in advance online or by calling Congressman Goodlatte’s Roanoke office at 540-857-2672. Additionally, attendees can register in person upon arrival at the event.
Questions? Call Congressman Goodlatte’s Roanoke Office at 540-857-2672 or visit Goodlatte.House.Gov.
Local media is invited to attend. Please RSVP to Beth Breeding at email@example.com or 202-225-5431.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House Judiciary Committee has obtained information from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that shows 65% of unaccompanied alien minors’ asylum applications have been immediately approved by asylum officers in Fiscal Year 2014. And this is just the first bite of the apple. Many more cases can be approved later. Where an asylum officer does not approve the application, it is then referred to an immigration judge where the applicant can try again. If that fails, they can continue to appeal their case. Once individuals are granted asylum, they have access to all major federal welfare programs.
Asylum approval rates overall have increased dramatically in recent years. Approval rates by asylum officers have increased from 28% in 2007 to 46% in 2013 and approval rates by immigration judges in affirmative cases have increased from 51% in 2007 to 74% in 2013. Combining both of these approval rates, the vast majority of aliens who affirmatively seek asylum are now successful in their claims. This does not even take into account appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals or federal courts. At the same time, an internal Department of Homeland Security report shows that at least 70% of asylum cases contain proven or possible fraud.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) released the statement below on this new information.
Chairman Goodlatte: “President Obama’s refusal to crack down on rampant asylum fraud is one of the many reasons we are witnessing a surge of Central Americans seeking to enter the U.S. illegally at the border. New data showing that the vast majority of Central Americans’ asylum claims are immediately approved will only worsen the situation along our southern border by encouraging more to come and take advantage of the situation. Our asylum laws are in place to help individuals who are facing truly serious persecution in their countries. However, while I was in the Rio Grande Valley earlier this month, law enforcement officials on the ground said that the vast majority of Central Americans arriving at our border come to meet up with another family member who is already in the United States illegally.
“President Obama has many tools at his disposal to stop this border crisis, including cracking down on fraudulent asylum claims and implementing tougher standards for preliminary asylum screenings. Unfortunately, he refuses to use these tools and instead makes the situation worse by refusing to enforce our immigration laws.”
Additional Background: Earlier this month, Chairman Goodlatte led a bipartisan delegation to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas to examine this crisis and seek solutions on how best to stop it. During the trip, members of the House Judiciary Committee toured federal facilities and met with those dealing with this problem firsthand at the border, including law enforcement officers and federal officials from the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, and Health and Human Services. Key findings from the trip can be found here. Yesterday, Chairman Goodlatte and Congressman Jason Chaffetz introduced the Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act, which stops the border crisis by ending many of President Obama’s policies that have caused the crisis and making targeted changes to current laws that have exacerbated the crisis.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Since President Obama has refused to take actions to stop illegal crossings at our southern border, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) joined Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) today to introduce a bill to stop the surge of children, teenagers, and families from Central America seeking to enter the United States illegally. The Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act (H.R. 5137) ends many of the Obama Administration’s policies that encourage Central Americans to come to the United States, such as weak standards for asylum claims that enable the Administration’s rubberstamping of fraudulent applications and policies that prevent Border Patrol agents from accessing federal lands along the border. Additionally, the bill makes targeted changes to current law, which has worsened the crisis at the border.
Chairman Goodlatte: “President Obama’s lax immigration enforcement and administrative legalization programs have encouraged tens of thousands of Central Americans to make the dangerous journey to the United States with the hope of benefiting from the situation. Obama Administration officials claim that violence is the root cause of this surge but an internal Department of Homeland Security memo shows that 95% of those arriving at our border are coming because they think they will get a free pass to stay. And law enforcement agents on the ground say that the majority of these minors are seeking to join up with a family member who is already in the U.S. illegally. This crisis is a disaster of President Obama’s own making and threatens both national security and the rule of law.
“Although President Obama has many tools at his disposal to stop this surge at the border, he refuses to use them. Since President Obama won’t take actions to quell this activity, the Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act stops many of the Administration’s policies that have caused this crisis, such as exploiting weak asylum standards to approve baseless claims and stringent environmental policies that prevent Border Patrol agents from doing their job of securing the border. Additionally, the bill reforms current law to make sure we get these unaccompanied minors home safely and quickly. We must swiftly take action to end this crisis—children’s lives are at stake, and so is the integrity of our immigration system.”
Original cosponsors of the bill include Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Steve Chabot (R-Ohio).
Key components of the Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Goodlatte released the following statement today announcing an agreement that will allow DirectTV customers in Page County to receive WHSV content. Currently, Page County customers can only receive ABC content from WJLA in Washington, D.C. Congressman Goodlatte has been working tirelessly to ensure the availability of local channels for satellite subscribers in the Sixth District.
“I am pleased to announce that DirectTV customers in Page County will soon be able to receive WHSV. Many constituents in Page County have asked me to help ensure they can access the local ABC station in Harrisonburg instead of the Washington, D.C. station they currently receive. Last week, I held a meeting to bring together the involved parties on behalf of my constituents. They all agreed that Page County residents should be able to receive WHSV on DirecTV. It is anticipated that folks in Page County will be able to receive this content in the coming months. This is the perfect example of companies working together on behalf of their customers, and I am happy to have helped facilitate these conversations. I also want to thank WHSV for their willingness to work with me to ensure that my Page County constituents can receive their channel. Now that DirectTV has taken this important step, I will continue working with other cable and satellite carriers to bring WHSV to Page County viewers.”Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House of Representatives today passed H.R. 3086, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (PITFA), by a voice vote. This broadly bipartisan legislation permanently bans states from taxing Internet access or placing multiple or discriminatory taxes on e-commerce.
Original legislation that temporarily banned Internet access taxes, the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA), was first enacted in 1998 and extended three times with enormous bipartisan support. In the history of the bill’s extensions, only five “no” votes were ever cast in the House and Senate.
The most recent extension of ITFA expires on November 1, 2014. By striking the 2014 expiration date, PITFA makes the ban on Internet access taxes permanent instead of requiring reauthorization every few years.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), Congressman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), and Congressman Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) praised the House passage of PITFA in the following joint statement:
“We applaud the passage of the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act today in the House. PITFA is a necessary measure to keep Internet access free of taxation. This permanent ban is crucial for protecting access and opportunity for Americans in our growing digital economy. We hope that the Senate promptly acts on this vital legislation before the November 1st deadline.”Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Judiciary Committee today approved by voice vote the Satellite Television Access Reauthorization Act (H.R. 5036), a bipartisan bill authored by Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Subcommittee Chairman Howard Coble (R-N.C.) to extend, for five years, the expiring provisions of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) of 2010 which governs satellite companies’ ability to retransmit broadcast television.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Ranking Member John Conyers (D- Mich.), Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Subcommittee Chairman Howard Coble (R-N.C.), and Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Subcommittee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) praised the Committee’s approval of this legislation in the joint statement below.
“Today’s passage of the Satellite Television Access Reauthorization Act by the House Judiciary Committee ensures that our constituents have full access to network programming no matter where they live for another five years. Our constituents depend upon this license for entertainment, news, and sports. We look forward to working with our colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee and in the Senate to ensure that legislation to protect satellite consumers is in place before the December 31, 2014, expiration of STELA.”Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) joined Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Subcommittee Chairman Howard Coble (R-N.C.) today in introducing the Satellite Television Access Reauthorization Act of 2014 (H.R. 5036) to extend the expiring provisions of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) of 2010 which governs satellite companies’ ability to retransmit broadcast television. The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to mark-up H.R. 5036 on Thursday, July 10, 2014.
There are three statutory licenses that enable copyrighted video content to be made available without permission, two of which are permanent as a matter of law and one that will expire on December 31, 2014, unless renewed by Congress. First enacted in 1988 and renewed most recently in 2010 with the passage of STELA, the expiring statutory license permits a satellite carrier to retransmit distant over-the-air television broadcast stations to its subscribers for private home viewing. Without this license, satellite companies would need to negotiate with the limited number of distant network stations for carriage rights in order to deliver that distant content to its rural subscribers who live in areas not served by local content. H.R. 5036 simply extends the expiring statutory license permit, contained in STELA, for five years.
Below is a statement from Chairman Goodlatte on the bill’s introduction:
“The vast majority of Americans have relied upon satellite and cable services for access to a wide variety of video content, ranging from nighttime entertainment for their families; educational shows for their children; local and national news with information that informs them; and public access channels that empower Americans to see their local, state, and federal representatives in action. Without Congressional action to renew the expiring video license, access to these services could be in jeopardy, especially for rural Americans. I look forward to working with members of the Energy and Commerce Committee and House Leadership to ensure swift passage of a reauthorization of STELA.”
Text of the bill can be found here.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte released the statement below following President Obama’s $3.7 billion emergency supplemental request to address the surge of children, teenagers, and families from Central America seeking to enter the U.S. illegally.
Chairman Goodlatte: “President Obama created this disaster at our southern border and now he is asking to use billions of taxpayer dollars without accountability or a plan in place to actually stop the border crisis. Most of the money requested in the President’s supplemental seems geared towards processing Central Americans than stopping the surge itself. It’s clear that law enforcement officers at the border need more resources to deal with the border crisis but resources will only be useful if there are consequences for illegal immigration.
“Republicans are committed to solving this problem, including seeking changes to current law. However, no amount of resources or changes will be effective in stemming the surge of illegal border crossings if President Obama continues to ignore the law. President Obama can and should take action now to halt the flood of illegal crossings at our southwest border. President Obama has many tools at his disposal now to quell this activity at our southern border, such as enforcing immigration laws and cracking down on rampant asylum fraud. Unfortunately, none of these tools are mentioned in his proposal.
“During my trip to the Rio Grande Valley last week, Border Patrol and ICE agents unanimously stated that the best way to end this crisis is deterrence. Some of them expressed frustration that political appointees at the Department of Homeland Security have not sought input from the agents on the ground dealing with this problem first hand. As President Obama is in Texas this week, I urge him to meet with law enforcement officers who are on the front lines so that he can better understand how his policies have created this crisis and how he can end it.”
Last week, Chairman Goodlatte led a bipartisan delegation to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas to examine this crisis and seek solutions on how best to stop it. During the trip, members of the House Judiciary Committee toured federal facilities and met with those dealing with this problem firsthand at the border, including law enforcement officers and federal officials from the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, and Health and Human Services. Key findings from the trip can be found here.
Harlingen, Texas — This week, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) led a bipartisan trip to the Rio Grande Valley Sector of the U.S.-Mexico border to seek information about the sudden surge of children, teenagers, and families – largely from Central America – attempting to enter the U.S. illegally. On the first day, the congressional delegation toured several federal facilities and met with federal officials at a Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement facility, the McAllen Border Patrol Station, and Gateway International Bridge in Brownsville. The group also went on a riverine tour with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on the Rio Grande River to witness firsthand the challenges the Border Patrol faces. On the second day, members spent the day at the Port Isabel Detention Facility where they met with officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), CBP, and HHS.
Below are key findings from the briefings.
1. The vast majority of Central American minors who are unaccompanied meet up with their parents who are already in the United States illegally. Further, these parents often had a role in smuggling the minors into the United States. While touring several federal facilities, minors traveling from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras stated that they came here to be with a parent who is already in the United States illegally. At a tour of the HHS facility housing boys ages 8-17, Members were told that the phone is ringing off the hook with parents looking for their children who they know made - and often directed to make - the dangerous journey to the U.S. While Chairmen Goodlatte and Issa were on a ride-along with the Border Patrol along the Rio Grande, they witnessed the apprehension of a mother and child from El Salvador and a 15-year-old boy from Honduras. The boy said he came to reunite with his mother, who has been in Los Angeles since he was six. Both said they were coming here in violation of law.
2. Border Patrol agents say the best way to stop this crisis is deterrence. Border Patrol agents stated unequivocally that the best way to stop the surge of Central Americans is deterrence and there must be an end of what is now essentially “catch and release.” However, it’s clear that currently there are little, if any, consequences for illegal immigration. Word has spread to the Americas and beyond that women and children are not priorities for removal, as outlined in the Obama Administration’s immigration enforcement “priorities.” Additionally, many of these minors and families are able to game the asylum process since most applications are rubberstamped for approval. In fact, an internal Department of Homeland Security report states there is proven or possible fraud in up to 70% of asylum applications.
3. Stringent environmental rules prevent Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley Sector from accessing federal lands along the border. Border Patrol agents cited restrictions on federal lands as a burden to doing their job of securing the border. The Departments of Interior and Agriculture currently have rules that prevent Border Patrol agents from accessing federal lands within 100 miles of the border under the guise of environmental preservation. The House Judiciary Committee has passed legislation, the SAFE Act, which would stop this foolish policy.
Based on these findings, Chairman Goodlatte released the following statement:
“This trip has confirmed that the current crisis at the border is a disaster of President Obama’s own making. While there are some laws that complicate how we deal with minors from Central America coming the U.S. illegally, it is crystal clear that President Obama has many tools he could use now to quell this activity in the Rio Grande Valley and prevent minors from making the dangerous journey to the United States. If President Obama wants to stop this problem, he should enforce our immigration laws and quit using his pen and phone to create administrative legalization programs. Additionally, he needs to direct officials at the Department of Homeland Security to crack down on asylum fraud and implement deterrents to stop people from entering in violation of the law. This would send the unequivocal message that it is no longer worth the risk to subject children to the dangers of the perilous trip north to our southern border. President Obama created this crisis and he has the power to stop it now. Children’s lives are at stake, and so is the integrity of our immigration system.”
Background: The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Immigration Statistics estimates that the illegal migration of minors will grow from 6,500 in FY 2011 to an estimated 142,000 in 2015. As of last week, DHS has seen about 50,000 minors attempting to cross into the United States and over 40,000 family members for FY 2014. The estimated number to be apprehended in 2014 represents a 1,381% increase since 2011, while the projected number of 142,000 apprehensions in 2015 represents a 2,232% increase.
Members of the House Judiciary Committee joining Chairman Goodlatte in traveling to the border include Representatives Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Blake Fahrenthold (R-Texas), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), and Joe Garcia (D-Fla.).Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) released the statement below following President Obama’s speech in which he called for the enactment of the Senate immigration bill, announced that he will take more unilateral actions to dismantle our immigration laws this summer, and announced that he will send interior enforcement officers to the border to deal with the surge of kids, teenagers, and parents from Central America seeking to enter the U.S. illegally.
Chairman Goodlatte: “President Obama refuses to take any responsibility for our broken immigration system: he created the crisis at the border and he has many tools at his disposal to fix it. He created the crisis by stating that minors and families are not a priority for removal and he has distorted the rule of law so much that, as he indicates, ‘folks don’t know what the rules are.’ President Obama could quell the border crisis by halting his abuses of prosecutorial discretion, actually enforcing our immigration laws within the interior of the United States, and starting to crack down on fraudulent asylum claims – all of which he has the authority to do now. But instead, he is sending lawyers, judges, and asylum officers to the border, which will only fast-track the likelihood that these minors and families will pursue asylum cases that the administration rubberstamps, and remain in the U.S. for years to come. The Obama Administration plans to send interior immigration enforcement officers to the border, which means that individuals who simply make it past the border patrol could get more than just a free pass into the U.S. – they could get to stay once they reach the interior of the U.S.
“President Obama’s call for the Senate immigration bill to become law would also exacerbate the current crisis at the border. Much like the 1986 immigration overhaul, the Senate immigration bill provides a legal status to unlawful immigrants without guaranteeing the enforcement of our immigration laws and securing the border. If the Senate bill were to become law, it would worsen this crisis because its fails to secure our borders, mitigate threats to national security, deport convicted criminal aliens, and enforce our immigration laws going forward.
“Many members of the House want to fix our immigration laws but President Obama’s continued abuse of his ‘pen and phone’ to act unilaterally has undermined our efforts and has also caused a trust deficit with the American people. I’m shocked that President Obama is calling for more unilateral actions but I am even more shocked by what he didn’t say today. He said nothing about cracking down on fraudulent asylum claims nor did he say he would remove those seeking to enter the U.S. illegally. By threatening more unilateral actions this summer while failing to address the issue of border security, President Obama will only worsen the crisis at the border and will further undermine Americans’ faith in the President’s ability to lead.”Read More
2309 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Bob Goodlatte represents the Sixth Congressional District of Virginia in the United States House of Representatives.
Bob’s service to the people of the Sixth District began in 1977 when he became District Director for former Congressman Caldwell Butler. He served in this position for two years until 1979, and was responsible for helping folks across the District seeking assistance with or encountering problems from various federal agencies. In 1979, he founded his own private law practice in Roanoke. Later, he was a partner in the law firm of Bird, Kinder and Huffman, working there from 1981 until taking office.
In the 113th Congress, Bob was elected to serve as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He is the first Judiciary Committee Chairman from Virginia in the last 125 years. Bob has been an active Member of the Judiciary Committee since arriving in Congress, serving in a variety of leadership positions on the Committee including Chairman of the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet in the 112th Congress, Vice Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee and Ranking Member of the Task Force on Judicial Impeachment in the 111th Congress, Ranking Member of the Antitrust Task Force in the 110th Congress, and Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property in the 109th Congress. Additionally, Bob also served on the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.
The House Judiciary Committee will certainly be at the forefront of some of the most significant issues facing Virginia and the Sixth District, including protecting Constitutional freedoms and civil liberties, oversight of the U.S. Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, legal and regulatory reform, innovation, competition and anti-trust laws, terrorism and crime, and immigration reform. It is likely that many of these issues will be the deciding factors in determining the future direction of our nation. The jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee is well-suited to many of Bob’s legislative priorities such as protecting Constitutional rights, including private property and Second Amendment rights, securing our borders through immigration reform, strengthening our criminal laws, decreasing health care costs through medical malpractice reform, and oversight of the Judicial branch and Administration. One of Bob’s top legislative initiatives is his Constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget so that Congress will be forced to control spending. The Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over all proposed amendments to the Constitution.
In addition to serving on the House Judiciary Committee, Bob serves on the House Agriculture Committee. He is a member of the Subcommittee on Livestock, Rural Development, and Credit, which is of particular importance to the Sixth District since it is one of the leading turkey and poultry producing districts in the nation. He also serves on the Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, and Nutrition. Bob has served the Agriculture Committee in a variety of leadership roles including Chairman of the Agriculture Committee (2003-2007), Ranking Member of the Agriculture Committee (2007-2008), Vice Chairman of the Agriculture Committee (2011-2012), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry (1997-2003), and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Energy and Research (2009-2010).
During his time in Congress, Bob has made a name for himself as a leader on Internet and high-tech issues. He is Co-Chair of the Congressional Internet Caucus and the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus as well as Chairman of the House Republican Technology Working Group.
Bob, age 61, is a graduate of Washington and Lee University School of Law, and his undergraduate degree in Government was earned at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. He resides in Roanoke with his wife, Maryellen. He and Maryellen have been married since 1974 and have two adult children, Jennifer and Rob.
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My prayers are with all of those affected by the reported tornado on Virginia's Eastern Shore this morning.
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Today at 10AM, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on constitutional solutions to America’s skyrocketing national debt.
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House passed the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) reauthorization today. This is important legislation to ensure that
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