A House Republican freshman on Tuesday night called on the federal government to step up enforcement of U.S. immigration laws, and said removing illegal immigrants is one way to create needed jobs for Americans.
"There is a surefire way to create jobs now for American citizens," Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) said on the House floor. "Evict all illegal aliens from America and immediately open up millions of jobs for unemployed Americans.
Brooks and several other House Republicans said illegal immigrants commit violent crimes against law-abiding American citizens and that the federal government has failed to protect the latter.
"Illegal aliens commit horrendous crimes against American citizens, crimes that strain state and federal judicial systems, police and sheriff departments and prisons that are already overcrowded in a financial crisis," Brooks said.
Brooks and his colleagues cited the story of Tad Mattle, an Alabama teen who was killed when an illegal immigrant driving a pickup truck struck his vehicle while trying to evade police.
Brooks and others called for the federal government to allow local law enforcement to help enforce immigration laws. Brooks spoke in favor of his Jobs for Americans Act, H.R. 2670, which would make that change.
Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) voiced her support of H.R. 100, better known as the CLEAR Act, which would also allow state and local governments to assist the federal government in its efforts to enforce immigration laws.
The GOP call to make explicit state and local enforcement of immigration laws came more than a year after a federal judge struck down parts of an Arizona law that allowed local law enforcement officials to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. The law also criminalized failure to carry immigration documents.
House Republicans made mention of other bills dealing with illegal immigration that have been introduced. Earlier this year, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) introduced the Birthright Citizenship Act, H.R. 140, which would grant birthright citizenship only to a person born to a U.S. citizen, a permanent alien whose residence is in the U.S. or an alien performing active service in the U.S. armed forces.
Another bill from Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), the National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act, would protect public lands used for border security activities by the Department of Homeland Security from interference by the secretary of the Interior and the USDA.
Brooks also blamed illegal immigrants and illegal immigrant children for rising healthcare costs and overcrowded schools.
"The issue of illegal aliens is greater than just jobs and better incomes for American citizens," Brooks said. "Illegal aliens crowd our hospital emergency rooms, delaying treatment for Americans and driving up healthcare costs, because too many illegal aliens don't pay their bills. Too often, illegal aliens get free healthcare on the backs of already stressed American taxpayers."