June 19, 2015
This week, I introduced legislation to ensure that the Department of Homeland Security does not use fees collected from legal immigrants to fund President Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional executive amnesty.
I will continue to uphold the rule of law, protect our citizens, and champion legal immigration.
Keep Texas strong,
Sen. Cruz Applauds 2016 NDAA for Strengthening Our National Defense
On Thursday, Sen. Cruz issued the following statement regarding the Senate’s final vote on the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Sen. Cruz introduced or cosponsored more than a dozen amendments that were successfully adopted into the bill.
“The 2016 NDAA will increase the military readiness and capabilities of the United States without increasing spending on programs entirely unrelated to our national defense,” said Sen. Cruz. “And I am grateful for the support my amendments received, including measures that will ensure the readiness of our troops, support for our allies, and continued vigilance against our adversaries. This bill reaffirms our commitment to the physical, mental and financial health of the men and women in uniform who volunteer to serve our nation. The reforms in this bill will provide more of our service members with financial benefits upon leaving military service, appropriate mental and physical health care, and improved quality of life for them and their families. Despite these laudable objectives, I could not vote for this bill because I made a promise when I was elected to office that I would not vote for an NDAA that continued to allow the President to violate the constitutional rights of American citizens by indefinitely detaining them without due process.”
Read the full release here.
Sen. Cruz Introduces the Immigration Slush Fund Elimination Act
On Wednesday, Sen. Cruz introduced the Immigration Slush Fund Elimination Act to eliminate the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) ability to use the fees it collects for the provision of legal immigration services to fund amnesty. The bill would also restore congressional authority over the appropriations process and refocus the agency on its core national security mission.
“America has always been a land of refuge and opportunity for those seeking freedom, and we should champion legal immigration,” said Sen. Cruz. “Ronald Reagan referred to legal immigrants, immigrants like my father, as Americans by choice. The federal government should not be in the business of looting the wallets of those who followed the law and came here legally to fund the President’s illegal and unconstitutional amnesty. This bill will cut off DHS’s credit card and put Congress back in charge of funding the agencies responsible for immigration.”
Specifically the Immigration Slush Fund Elimination Act would do the following:
- End DHS’s ability to fund lawlessness. In recent congressional testimony, USCIS Chief Financial Officer Joseph Moore confirmed that USCIS can access more than $1 billion in fee-based funding, and that it used those funds to pay for an unauthorized amnesty processing center in Arlington, Va. Eliminating the ability of USCIS to use the money it collects to support amnesty and other unauthorized activities is a first step toward reining in the executive branch’s lawless approach to immigration.
- Restore congressional authority over DHS and immigration issues. This would reduce USCIS’s ability to ignore the people’s representatives and restore respect for the Constitution’s separation of powers and the legislative power of the purse.
- Eliminate DHS’s profit incentive, which distracts from the agency’s core national security mission. Removing the focus on fees and revenue will once again focus USCIS on its core responsibilities, including protecting our national security and preventing immigration benefit fraud.
Read the full release here.
Sen. Cruz Introduces the Human Rights Accountability Act
On Thursday, Sen. Cruz introduced the Human Rights Accountability Act to incentivize the U.S. Department of State to issue a report on Iran’s human rights record. The bill would withhold five percent of the Department’s operating budget – with the exception of funds for Worldwide Security Protection – for every 30 days the report is delayed. The State Department is required by law to release the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, including Iran’s, on February 25 of this year.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s abysmal human rights record is inextricably tied to its nuclear ambitions. Like the Soviets in the 20th century, the mullahs not only violently oppress their own people but also seek to project that oppression against free peoples around the world, first and foremost the United States and our allies. They have vowed to destroy our very way of life,” said Sen. Cruz.
“When Ronald Reagan confronted the Soviet Union with the goal of ‘we win, they lose,’ he did not reject negotiations. But he also did not shy away from the Soviets’ appalling human rights record. He made exposing and denouncing their abuses, and expressing support for their victims, a cornerstone of his approach. We can do the same thing now, by making Iran’s human rights record a negotiating tool, not something to be swept under the rug. It is critical that the State Department release the 2014 report so that Congress can have access to the most recent data before we cast a vote on any nuclear deal.
Last week, in response to a letter Sens. Cruz, Kirk, and four of their colleagues sent the State Department inquiring about the report’s delay, the State Department sent Sen. Cruz a letter suggesting that scheduling conflicts had prohibited its release.
After receiving the letter, Sen. Cruz penned an op-ed in the Washington Times urging the State Department to release the report on Iran’s human rights practices before the Iran deal comes to Congress.
In the op-ed, Sen. Cruz wrote: “Congress must have access to our State Department’s next official assessment before it can cast judgment on any deal the P5+1 might strike with Iran. If Iran’s already dismal human rights record has indeed continued to worsen over the last year, it would raise significant additional concerns about engaging in nuclear negotiations with this regime.”
Read the full op-ed here.
Regional Update from Central Texas Constituent Services Assistant Michael Ivy
As the new constituent services assistant for Veterans Affairs, I have the opportunity to assist Texas veterans with many issues, including benefits, claims, and healthcare. It is an honor to assist veterans, and in doing so, to show our appreciation for their immeasurable sacrifice to our nation. I am grateful for this new opportunity and am eager to serve veterans with the excellence the deserve.