Originally posted at http://www.laineyforcongress.com
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Lamar Smith thinks that he has found the winning campaign platform. All he needs to do is rant about how the Obama administration isn't securing our borders, use fear to connect terrorism with immigration, and gamble on your intolerance to accept that immigrants are creating our unemployment problems. The problem is that Lamar Smith has had 23 years of policy-making to show us that he has the solution, that he can make us safe, and that he can grow our economy. He has failed.While he has been lecturing about how important it is to enforce our immigration laws, use the best technology, and increase border patrols, he has consistently voted against funding those efforts. In HR 1, funds were allocated to the Department of Homeland Security for these purposes, and Lamar Smith voted no to these measures to help secure our borders:
* Border Security Fencing, Infrastructure, and Technology: $100,000,000
* Construction for land border ports of entry: $420,000,000
* Automation Modernization tactical communications equipment: $20,000,000
* Aviation Security detection equipment : $1,000,000,000
* Coast Guard for shore facilities: $98,000,000
He voted against similar funding measures in 2008 and 2007, so if anyone is to blame for the lack of security on our borders, Lamar Smith needs to step up and take his share of responsibility.
Recently Lamar Smith claimed that we could cut our number of unemployed workers in half if we just got rid of the illegal workers. He co-formed the Reclaim American Jobs Caucus based on this premise, which now has 41 GOP members. Factcheck.org found that across party lines there is strong consensus that this premise is false, economists believe that immigrant workers expand the U.S. economy.
Interestingly, Lamar Smith is a cosponsor and supporter of the Real ID legislation which the Texas GOP is opposing in their own party platform. This unfunded mandate that many believe violates the 10th amendment is opposed by groups across party lines including the ACLU, libertarian groups, the CATO Institute, the AFL-CIO, the Gun Owners of America, and the Obama administration. We are not a country where American citizens must carry our national id papers, and have our papers checked in order to get health care, buy groceries, or in order to avoid police interrogation. Our founding fathers envisioned an America free from persecution, which embraces liberty, protects our privacy, and welcomes immigrants as a vital element of our society.
Lamar Smith has fallen out of touch with Texans. Even his traditional constituency, the Chamber of Commerce, has come out in favor of comprehensive immigration reform. This does not mean amnesty, but it means that we need to address the root causes of the immigration problem, enforce our immigration laws, secure our borders, streamline the visa and citizenship process, remove arbitrary caps, improve security screening, and offer a path to citizenship to those who deserve to be a part of our society.
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Candidate for US Congress
Texas 21st District
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