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Cruz, Sessions Introduce Legislation to Help ICE Agents Enforce Immigration Laws

February 11, 2016

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) introduced the ICE Agent Support Act of 2016 (S. 2538), which would provide U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with necessary resources to help the agency enforce our nation’s immigration laws. This legislation would provide ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations with dedicated, substantial revenue from statutory fines and penalties for illegal aliens that are not currently being enforced by the Obama administration, but would generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue each year. The relevant statutory provisions call for fines and civil penalties for refusing to leave the United States after being ordered or agreeing to do so, using false documents, or engaging in marriage fraud. 

Sen. Cruz said, “For far too long, the Obama administration has discouraged enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws. President Obama has even personally threatened ‘consequences’ for the dedicated men and women who try to follow the law.” Sen. Cruz continued, “This legislation sends a clear signal of support to the ICE agents who risk their lives on a daily basis to enforce our nation’s immigration laws. The next administration must support the people who protect us from illegal immigration and punish those who break our laws.”

In part, Cruz has introduced this legislation to address the requests of ICE Director Sarah Saldaña during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in December of last year. At that hearing, Saldaña indicated that the overwhelming volume of illegal immigration in the United States and the lack of adequate resources prevent ICE from fulfilling its core immigration enforcement mission. This legislation will guarantee that ICE agents have the funding and resources necessary to enforce the law as required by Congress. Sen. Cruz looks forward to working with the administration to ensure that the men and women of ICE receive the support they deserve. 

The full text of the ICE Agent Support Act of 2016 is available here.

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