Goodlatte: Shoulder-To-Shoulder Officers Would Not Secure Border, Need Interior Enforcement

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

A secure border will not matter unless the Obama administration begins to enforce immigration law and the asylum system is fixed, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee argued Tuesday.

“Given this administration’s failure to enforce our immigration laws, we could line Border Patrol agents shoulder-to-shoulder at the southern border and it would not matter,” Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) said during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on immigration enforcement.

“Why?” he asked. “Because once apprehended by the Border Patrol, many of the children, teenagers, and adults arriving at the border simply game our asylum and immigration laws that the Obama Administration has severely weakened.”

According to Goodlatte, the Obama administration has simply pushed the claims cases down the road — allowing illegal immigrants to simply vanish into the interior of the United States.

He noted that the Wall Street Journal recently reported that thousands of immigrants will not even have their case heard until after Thanksgiving of 2019.

“If word got out that bogus credible fear and asylum claims were not being rubberstamped and that claimants were not rewarded with almost certain release into the U.S. along with work authorization, the vast increase in claims might quickly abate,” he said.

“In the end, it doesn’t matter how many aliens are apprehended along the border, if apprehension itself becomes a golden ticket into the country,” Goodlatte added.

The Virginia Republican stressed that there must be an interior enforcement aspect to solving the immigration problem.

“We can’t just be fixated on securing the border, while undoubtedly an issue of paramount concern,” he said. “We must focus on interior enforcement, or more precisely what to do with unlawful immigrants who make it past the border and legal immigrants who violate the terms of their visas and thus become unlawfully present in the U.S.”