Exclusive—Rep. Lou Barletta: ‘We Finally Have an Opportunity to End the Problem of Illegal Immigration’

Lou Barletta
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Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview that, “We finally have an opportunity to end the problem of illegal immigration.”

Barletta explained to Breitbart News that he remains optimistic about Congress’s chance to pass pro-American immigration reform.

“Well you know, for me this is one of the reasons that I am here in Washington right now. I have been fighting this issue back when I was a mayor in 2006, and here we are in 2018 still talking about it,” Rep. Barletta told Breitbart News. “I am excited because we finally have an opportunity to end the problem of illegal immigration. Hopefully, politics will not once again get in the way.”

Congressman Barletta announced in August that he hopes to challenge Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) in the 2018 midterm election. Barletta, a staunch opponent of illegal immigration since his time as mayor of Hazelton, Pennsylvania, told Breitbart News that he wants to put “America First” and “Pennsylvania workers first.”

At a bipartisan meeting of lawmakers at the White House on Tuesday, President Donald Trump backed immigration legislation written by Republican Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Michael McCaul (R-TX), Raul Labrador (R-ID), and Martha McSally (R-AZ). Trump called the legislation, a “bill of love.” The legislation would fund a southern border wall, end chain migration, end the diversity lottery, and raise Americans’ wages.

Rep. Barletta told Breitbart News that there’s a lot to like in the Goodlatte bill, adding that lawmakers need to ensure that it finally resolves the problem of illegal immigration.

Barletta explained:

I like the bill a lot; there’s something here for everyone. Most importantly, there’s something here for the American people, and that’s to finally end this problem of illegal immigration. The Democrats need to be on board if they’re serious about DACA, but at the same time, it’s reasonable to make sure the American people will not have to deal with this problem again. The president was pretty clear that we need the Wall first and that we need to secure our borders. To put in terms that people will understand, if you have a hole in your roof, you wouldn’t replace your carpet. Before we begin to talk about DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] and what we are going to do and people discussing something as far away as a pathway to citizenship to make the problem worse, which will only open up the floodgates for people to come here illegally. We need to secure the border and stop the flow of illegal immigration into the country.

The second thing is that you cannot do DACA without ending chain migration. To put in realistic terms, immigrants can bring their kids here, we allow them to stay, and then they can bring their cousins. It just doesn’t make sense. It’s very clear that we can end this problem, secure the border, build the wall, in exchange for DACA we should end chain migration, the diversity lottery, and bring about E-Verify, so that we are protecting American workers, and then end this problem.

When we talk about securing the borders, we cannot forget that nearly 50 percent of the people that come here illegally come through a visa, the visa expires, and then they just disappear. According to the 9/11 Commission Report, that is the preferred method of entry for terrorists, many of the 9/11 terrorists used that way to enter the country. I am interested in solving this problem once and for all and politicians in Washington need to stop playing politics.

If Democrats do not want to solve this problem, then it is clear they do not want this problem to go away. If they are serious about DACA recipients, then they will have no problem with ending chain migration and securing the border, and not allowing the same problem to occur five years from now. If it is so unfair, why would you allow this happen again?

The Pennsylvania Republican added that it “would be shameful to put illegal immigrants over American citizens and the damage they would be doing by shutting down the government. If they were serious about the DACA recipients, why would you want to do this again?”

Barletta continued, suggesting that America’s immigration system should be merit-based:

Our immigration should be merit-based, and we should be able to pick who should be able to come into our country.

In the last 35 years, this is how bad it is, of the 33 million immigrants that came in, 20 million came in through chain migration.

In the diversity lottery, which is ludicrous, of the 46,000 of those that came in through the lottery, another 161,000 came from them through chain migration. If you are lucky enough to have your name picked out of a hat, their distant relatives and their relatives’ relatives can come in because of the diversity lottery. That is ridiculous. Our country is under attack from people all around the world. We should be careful; we owe it to the American people to make sure that those that come into the country through our immigration process can contribute.

Barletta cheered President Trump’s meeting with the group of bipartisan lawmakers on Tuesday, saying, “I think what the president did yesterday was masterful, allowing the American people to look through the window and see how legislation gets crafted and how compromise should be made. It is like a chapter out of Art of the Deal, to see where I believe that those in the room were able to forget about the cameras and they were able to talk openly about what they want. There has to be a starting, and the president made the starting point clear.”

Congressman Barletta concluded, “People know me in Pennsylvania from my time as mayor and as someone who fought for the American worker and for the people in my community. That is what Pennsylvania is, a lot of blue-collar folks; they want someone that speaks for them. I have been a supporter of the America First agenda and President Trump, and I believe that is what the people of Pennsylvania want.”

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