House Considers Important Immigration Legislation, H.R.2431, Davis-Oliver Act

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By Michael W. Cutler

Mike is a Senior Fellow with CAPS and retired INS Senior Special Agent. During his 30-year career with the INS he rotated through all of the squads within the Investigations Branch. He was assigned to the Unified Intelligence Division of the DEA and for 10 years was assigned, as an INS Senior Special Agent, to the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force. He has testified at numerous hearings conducted by committees and subcommittees of the House and Senate and provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission.

He hosts "The Michael Cutler Hour" on USA Talk Radio Fridays at 7 p.m. (EST) and is frequently interviewed by broadcast media on various aspects of immigration issues, especially the nexus to national security.

The writer's views are his own.

June 8, 2017

The centerpiece of President Trump’s successful campaign for the Presidency was the need to secure America’s borders and effectively and fairly enforce our immigration laws from within the interior of the United States.

That message certainly resonated with many American voters.

Annually, failures of the immigration system cost American lives. Many more are assaulted and seriously injured.

The 9/11 Commission, to which I provided testimony, identified those failures of the interior enforcement program as being at the heart of the ability of terrorists – and not only the 19 hijackers who carried out the terror attacks of 9/11, but other terrorists as well – to enter the U.S. and embed themselves and go about deadly preparations.

Members of pernicious transnational gangs from around the world, not just Latin America, have easily entered the U.S. to continue their criminal careers, plying their “trades” peddling narcotics and perpetrating violent crimes.

For decades politicians from both sides of the political aisle have intentionally refused to effectively address these failures of the immigration system. Donald Trump astutely understood the true impact of these multiple failures of the immigration system and the anger and frustration of millions of Americans because of them.

However, while President Trump has issued a series of Executive Orders to address these failures of the immigration system, some of the issues can only be dealt with by appropriate legislation.

On May 16, 2017, Congressman Raύl R. Labrador (R-ID) introduced such legislation, H.R.2431 - Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act, which is being supported by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte. Read Rep. Goodlatte’s press release. Rep. Labrador’s bill was named to honor two California law enforcement officers who were killed by an illegal alien.

A summary of the elements of this legislation makes it clear that H.R.2431 seeks to effectively address a number of vulnerabilities within the immigration law enforcement mission of the DHS, particularly where the enforcement of our immigration laws from within the interior of the U.S. and the integrity of the visa adjudication process are concerned.

H.R.2431 also addresses Sanctuary Cities. It would prevent future administrations from impeding the enforcement of our immigration laws as we witnessed during the Obama administration, and would provide for hiring thousands of additional law enforcement personnel for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

On a personal note, I am particularly gratified that this legislation focuses on interior immigration law enforcement. I have addressed these failures of interior enforcement at many of the Congressional hearings at which I have testified. In fact, several weeks after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, I accepted then Congressman Tom Tancredo’s invitation to provide testimony to the House Immigration Reform Caucus which he chaired at the time, even though the executives of the former INS refused to authorize my appearance at that hearing.

On December 10, 2001, Tom Tancredo entered my prepared testimony into the Congressional Record.

In my testimony I explained the need for effective enforcement of our immigration laws from within the interior of the U.S. and urged members of Congress to provide equal resources for the three legs of what I referred to as the “Immigration Enforcement Tripod” in which the Border Patrol enforces our immigration laws from between ports of entry, the Immigration (today CBP) Inspectors enforce the immigration laws at ports of entry and the Special Agents enforce the immigration laws from within the interior of the U.S.

On March 20, 2013, I testified at a hearing conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee at the invitation of Senator Grassley on the topic: Building An Immigration System Worthy Of American Values. While I was asked few, if any, questions at the hearing, after the hearing Sen. Grassley sent me a list of questions to which I provided extensive answers. My responses to his questions are on pages 23 through 49 of the published transcript of the hearing to which I provided you the link above.

I hope you will take the time to read my responses because Sen. Grassley’s questions afforded me the opportunity to discuss the multiple failures of the immigration system in great detail.

Here is the Link to Members’ statements and prepared testimony of witnesses which also include the video of the hearing.

My 30-year career with the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service), including my 26 years as an INS Special Agent, provided me with an insider’s view about the importance of enforcing our immigration laws from within the interior of the U.S.

Since I entered duty with the INS in 1971, the U.S.-Mexican border was the focus of attention and resources. While that border absolutely must be made secure, all of the other components of the immigration system are no less important.

Imagine a boat with a bunch of holes in its bottom. Simply plugging the hole marked “Mexican Border” will not prevent that boat from winding up at the bottom of the lake.

I recently wrote an article, “Any ‘Immigration Reform’ Must Put Americans First - Political compromise must not jeopardize national security, public safety, or the well-being of Americans.” Congressman Labrador’s immigration legislation addresses a significant number of the issues I raised in my article and my Congressional testimonies, specifically the nexus between immigration, national security and public safety.

While it does not address all issues, H.R.2431 serves as a good starting point and must have the support of every American, irrespective of their political affiliations.

Take action here to encourage your representatives to support the Davis-Oliver Act, H.R.2431.

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