Before the Vote: DHS Secretary, House GOP Champion Important Public Safety Bills

Today, during the Speaker’s weekly press conference, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, House Judiciary Committee Chair Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), House Republican Conference Vice Chair Doug Collins (R-GA), and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), Chair of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, joined to discuss how Republicans are keeping our promises to the American people.

One of those promises is that public safety will continue to be one of our top priorities. That’s why we’re voting today on the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act and Kate’s Law.

Named after innocent Americans whose deaths were preventable, these important bills ensure that our immigration laws are enforced and help prevent unlawful immigrants who commit serious crimes from becoming repeat offenders that put communities at risk.

Here are the highlights from that press conference:

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI):

“Every day, Secretary Kelly leads professionals around the country—and around the world, quite frankly—who are charged with keeping our homeland safe. They make incredible sacrifices. Our job here is to make sure that those professionals have the tools that they need and the resources that they need carry out their work and protect our communities. That is what these measures are all about. And we look forward to their passage in the House today.”

Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly:

“The word ‘sanctuary calls to mind someplace safe. But too often for families and victims affected by illegal immigrant crime, sanctuary cities are anything but safe. Instead these cities are places that allow some criminals to go free, undermine federal law enforcement, and and make our communities less safe….It is beyond my comprehension why federal, state, and local officials sworn to enforce the laws of the nation as I am would actively discourage or outright prevent law enforcement agencies from upholding the laws of the United States, and why they would set public funds aside to pay for the legal representation of illegal aliens who are also lawbreakers. In doing so, they prioritize criminals over public and law enforcement officer safety.

“The two bills up for a vote this week — Kate’s Law and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act — will help Immigration and Customs Enforcement uphold our nation’s immigration laws and help make our communities more safe. President Trump has made it clear that our borders are not open to illegal immigration, that we are a nation of laws, and we will no longer look the other way. We will no longer look the other way in the interior, either.

“I appreciate Congress’s effort to address the dangers of sanctuary cities and illegal immigrant offenders. As I have said many times, DHS does not make the laws, Congress does, and we will enforce the laws that are passed by Congress. I am offended when members of this institution exert pressure and often threaten me and my officers to ignore the laws they make and am sworn to uphold.”

House Judiciary Committee Chair Bob Goodlatte (R-VA):

“…when our immigration laws are properly enforced, all of the types of crimes we’re talking about here are entirely avoidable. One of the most important aspects of immigration reform is bolstering enforcement. Secretary Kelly and his team at the Department of Homeland Security have done an outstanding job of living up to the President’s commitment to enforce our immigration laws. But as they have done that, they have discovered that there are a number of laws that need to be changed. Today’s bills…provide that kind of support to the administration.

House GOP Conference Vice Chair Doug Collins (R-GA):

“Today is a good day for the rule of law. Today is when we go back and we state these are the laws and instead of politics and localities determining what they’re going to follow and what they’re not going to follow. …if you choose to put politics before people’s safety, then you’re not going to get the public funds, you’re not going to get the grants that you are supposed to be using to enforce the law.”

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID):

“Government at all levels have a basic responsibility to protect our citizens from those who are in our country illegally, and especially from those who commit criminal acts while staying here illegally. …the bills we’re voting on today bring common sense to an issue where common sense has been in short supply for far too long. I’m glad we’re showing the American people that the House Republican majority is serious about keeping its promises.”