Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) have joined forces on another immigration effort, this time seeking to increase funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“For far too long, the Obama administration has discouraged enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws. President Obama has even personally threatened ‘consequences’ for the dedicated men and women who try to follow the law,” Cruz, who is running for president, said Thursday.
A day earlier, Cruz and Sessions introduced legislation that would provide ICE with revenue from the monetary penalties that are supposed to be levied on illegal immigrants for refusing to leave the country after an order of removal, using false documents, or entering into a fraudulent marriage for immigration purposes.
The bill, according to Cruz’s office, is partially a response to ICE Director Sarah Saldana’s testimony before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in December. In her appearance before the committee, Saldana signaled that ICE lacked sufficient resources for comprehensive enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws.
“This legislation sends a clear signal of support to the ICE agents who risk their lives on a daily basis to enforce our nation’s immigration laws,” Cruz added. “The next administration must support the people who protect us from illegal immigration and punish those who break our laws.”
According to Cruz’s office, enforcing the fines and civil penalties for immigration violations would yield “hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue” annually.