Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) voted YES to three key pieces of legislation that will focus on enhancing border security, strengthening enforcement, and ensuring the safety of the American people.

Border security is the number one issue in our country, said Poe. The American people have spoken loud and clear about their desire to shut down the border. I will continue to be an advocate in Washington to secure our borders, protect the dignity of our country and preserve our culture. If we continue to turn our head to the invasion of our country, we will cease to be a country. These pieces of legislation will send a strong message that we are going to enforce our immigration laws and individuals violating them will be held accountable.

H.R. 6094, the Community Protection Act of 2006
  • Detaining Dangerous Illegal Immigrants. The bill allows the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to detain dangerous illegal immigrants beyond 6 months if their release would threaten national security, threaten the safety of the community, or have serious adverse foreign policy consequences.
  • Removing Illegal Immigrant Gang Members. The bill allows DHS to detain and deport illegal immigrants who are members of a gang and bar them from receiving asylum or temporary protected status.

H.R. 6095, the Immigration Law Enforcement Act of 2006
  • Ending Catch & Release. The bill ends an injunction dating from the El Salvadoran civil war of the 1980s which effectively prevents DHS from placing Salvadorans in expedited removal proceedings. DHS is using expedited removal to remove other non-Mexican illegal immigrants who are apprehended along the Southern border in order to end the policy of catch and release and this bill would authorize DHS to treat all illegal immigrants the same.
  • Enhancing State & Local Law Enforcement Authority. It clarifies that states and local law enforcement are authorized to voluntarily investigate, identify, apprehend, arrest, detain, and transfer to federal custody aliens in the U.S. in order to assist in the enforcement of the immigration laws.
  • Prosecuting Smuggling Offenses. The bill expresses the sense of Congress that the Attorney General should adopt uniform guidelines for the U.S. Attorneys office for prosecuting smuggling offenses and authorize additional personnel from FYs 2008-2013 to prosecute such cases.

H.R. 4830, the Border Tunnel Prevention Act of 2006
  • Establishing Penalties for Border Tunnels. The bill establishes criminal penalties of up to 20 years imprisonment for persons who knowingly construct or finance the construction of an unauthorized tunnel across a U.S. international border.