The US House of Representatives approved a $600 million dollar program that will help fight illegal immigration. The bill will not become law immediately, as the Constitution states that revenue-raising measures must be created in the House. The Senate will have to approve it after they come back from their recess in September, after which the President will then sign it into law. Technical issues must also be sorted out.
The House passed this bill with a voice vote with bi-partisan support. An identical bill was passed in the Senate last week.
Rep. David Price (D) said the $600 million will allow for the hiring of 250 additional customs and border protection officers and 100 border patrol agents.
While many Republicans and Democrats support stronger borders and increased border security, Republicans have said that Democrats are passing this bill to garner support from the American people. They say that Democrats are just passing this bill to secure their seats in Congress.
Illegal immigration has become a major issue in the Nov. 2 elections.
This bill requires increased visa application fees for a collection of businesses that operate in the US and hire foreign workers.
Rep. Jerry Lewis (R) said that funding from this bill would require tax increases on specific businesses, something that many Republicans do not want.
$176 million will create more patrol agent jobs, $89 million will hire customs and immigration employees, and $32 million will fund drones (unmanned aerial vehicles).
I am sure that most of the American people will agree with me that enforcing the borders is an important issue. Illegal immigration is a terrible problem. Strengthening the borders allows for increased national security.
That said, on a bill that costs $600 million, I don’t think that taxes should have to be increased on anyone. On top of our already skyrocketing national debt, $600 million is barely even noticeable. Aside from that, unlike many acts that contribute to our nation’s debt, this bill is a necessity.
Whether Democrats are using this bill for their own gain isn’t something that can really be determined now, if ever. Perhaps time will tell. But it is great that this bill was passed with bi-partisan support. This shows tha,t on important issues that help with the safety of the US, we can agree and have desires for similar outcomes.
Sources used in this article:
Susan Cornwell and Vicki Allen, House Passes $600 Million Border Security Bill, Fox News
Hugh Holub, US House Approves $600 Million to Secure the Border, Tucson Citizen
Charles Babington, House Approves $600M for More Agents, Drones on Border, Arizona Daily Star