Hastings’ Statement on House Republicans Holding DHS Funding Hostage Over Immigration Policies

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Washington, D.C., February 10, 2015 | comments
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) made the following statement on House Republicans continued efforts to play a dangerous game with America’s national security:  

“At this crucial time, when the world is unified in trying to combat ISIS, House Republicans are choosing to gamble with the safety of all Americans by holding our national security hostage as they pursue their draconian political agenda.

“While the international community is at a critical juncture due to the proliferation of ‘lone wolf’ terror attacks in recent weeks and months, Republicans are engaging in political brinkmanship by refusing to pass a clean bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Rather, they have opted to attach myopic, anti-immigration amendments to this important piece of legislation, which ought to have as its design, the goal of keeping all Americans safe and secure no matter where they are in the world.

“As the February 27th deadline for the expiration of current DHS funding draws closer, I urge House Republicans to stop this pointless politicking, which is endangering our national security, and pass a clean DHS funding bill.

“Indeed, it is our front-line security personnel who will bear the brunt of the Republicans’ political games. If the Republicans fail to pass a DHS funding bill more than 40,000 Border Patrol Agents and Customs and Border Patrol officers, as well as 13,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement law enforcement agents, among many others, will be without pay for an indefinite period of time.

“Attaching conditions and ultimatums to fundamental legislation is not the way to go about addressing immigration policy. If Republicans really want to debate immigration issues they should work with House Democrats to reach an extensive, bipartisan, consensus that reflects the views of the American public. Perpetuating this DHS stalemate is as dangerous to our country’s security as it is corrosive to our democratic process.”

Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.

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