Steve King

March 22, 2019
Dear Jim,
Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts regarding immigration policy in the 116thCongress.  It is good to hear from you.
As you may know, currently there are between 12 and 20 million illegal immigrants residing in the U.S.  According to the most recent Census, the U.S. population grew by 27.3 million people, largely due to immigration (both legal and illegal).  In the past decade, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol has doubled their presence on the Southern border to around 20,000 agents, and 352 miles of pedestrian fence and 299 miles of vehicle fence have been constructed along our southern border.
But this is not enough.  Our nation’s immigration laws are broken every day, and I believe Congress must act to reinstate the Rule of Law, tighten border security, and pass new immigration laws that actually work. During the 115thCongress,I wasa Member of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, which has jurisdiction over immigration law.  Additionally, I have several proposals before Congress that would help enhance our nation’s immigration laws.
I believe we must secure our borders, and that starts by implementing the Secure Fence Act, which authorizes 700-miles of two-layered reinforced fencing along the U.S. southern border.  As a small business owner in the construction industry, I’ve long advocated for a concrete wall along the entire border.  This concrete model is more cost-efficient and effective than the fences being built today.  A central promise of President Trump’s campaign was to build a wall along the southern border.  Indeed, the Trump Administration and the Department of Homeland Security have already begun plans to build the wall and complete the project within two years.  I look forward to working closely with the Trump Administration to see this project through to completion.
I also believe we need to cut off the citizenship, job, and welfare magnets that entice thousands of immigrants to enter this country illegally every day.  This includes putting a stop to birthright citizenship and closing the “anchor baby” loophole, which triggers chain migration and creates a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.  In the first days of the 116thCongress, I introduced H.R. 140, the Birthright Citizenship Act, to do exactly that.  H.R. 140clarifies that in order to gain automatic citizenship, a baby born in the United States must have one parent who is a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, legal permanent resident,or who is serving in our nation’s Armed Forces.
In these tough economic times, with the lowest labor force participation rate since the 1970’s, I believe American jobs should go to Americans—not illegal immigrants.  That is why I reintroduced H.R. 140, the New Illegal Deduction Elimination Act (IDEA) in the 116thCongress.  This bill eliminates the tax-deductibility of wages paid to illegal immigrants.  The New IDEA Act would also make E-Verify permanent and voluntary, establishing a rebuttable presumption of compliance for employers who participate and obtain confirmation of identity and employment eligibility.  In addition, this legislation would establish an information sharing system between the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of the Treasury, and the Social Security Administration in order to help crack down on illegal immigrants in the workforce.
Furthermore, I believe we need to cut off funding for sanctuary jurisdictions.  There are several cities, counties, and school districts in the United States that offer “safe harbor” to illegal immigrants by prohibiting local law enforcement officers from asking about or sharing a person’s immigration status or reporting illegal immigrants who commit crimes to immigration authorities.  I believe we must cut off federal assistance across the board to these sanctuary jurisdictionsfor violating federal law.  I have successfully offered amendmentsin the House to defund those sanctuary jurisdictions and Congress needs to continue to push for cutting funding to these jurisdictions that defy our laws.
Finally, upholding the Rule of Law and enforcing our current immigration laws begins with the removal of those individuals who have committed crimes afterentering or remaining in the United States illegally.  Thousands of Americans have been injured or killed by the crimes of illegal immigrants.  My website includes more than 120 of these tragic stories.  That is why I reintroduced two important bills to honor the livesof two bright, young Americans who were senselessly murdered by illegal immigrants.  H.R. 385, Sarah’s Law, would require U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to take into custody all illegal aliens who have been charged in the United States with a crime resulting in the death or serious bodily injury of another person.  H.R. 384, Kate’s Law, would amend federal law to impose a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for any illegal reentry offense.
In conclusion, I wholly support an immigration policy designed to enhance the economic, social and cultural well-being of the United States of America.  I take very seriously the responsibility of crafting the immigration and naturalization policy that was delegated to Congress by our Constitution.  I will continue to support efforts to reduce illegal immigration and enforce the Rule of Law.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact me.  Please do not hesitate to do so again in the future.
Steve King
Member of Congress
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