The United States prides itself on treating people with the utmost respect and dignity. My concerns have never been with provisions that protect illegal immigrants from sexual abuse or assault. The clear distinction I made – and Rep. Lofgren distorted – is that I have concerns with provisions in the new detention standards that go too far in accommodating illegal and criminal immigrants at the taxpayer expense.

The new detention standards provide illegal and criminal immigrants cable TV, a library with free Internet access, board games, an indoor gym with basketball courts, soccer fields, and sand and nets for beach volleyball, among other recreational options. The new standards also mandate payment of transportation costs for elective abortions, transgender hormones, and even training in “parental skills” for those who are here in violation of the law.

It’s no surprise that Rep. Lofgren and I disagree on immigration policy and enforcement. But as Members of Congress, we must learn to disagree on policy without resorting to personal attacks.  

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) is Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.