Says many of the Department of Homeland Security’s 240,000 employees “are protecting our borders from terrorism”
WASHINGTON, March 2, 2015 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today voted to begin conference negotiations between the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives both to stop the president’s illegal executive amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants as well as to fund the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He also voted to ensure the Department of Homeland Security is funded through the fiscal year, after Democrats blocked the Senate from going to conference with the House.
Alexander said, “There are two things the Senate urgently needs to do. First is to stop the president’s unconstitutional actions granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. The second is to fully fund and keep the U.S. Department of Homeland Security open because many of its 240,000 employees are protecting our borders from terrorism. I have voted to do both, I did so again today, and I will continue to do that.”
The senator noted that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on Feb. 16 issued a preliminary injunction stopping the Obama administration from implementing the president’s executive action granting temporary legal status and work permits to up to 5 million illegal immigrants.
Alexander continued, “We ought to pursue through the courts and through the Congress, as vigorously as possible, ways to stop the president’s illegal executive amnesty. Democrats should allow us to begin debate on legislation by Sen. Collins to prohibit the president’s actions – our Founders did not want a king, and the American people don’t want a president who acts like one.”
On Friday, Alexander voted to begin debate on legislation by U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) to stop the president’s illegal executive amnesty granting temporary legal status and work permits to up to 5 million illegal immigrants. He also voted to fund the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through Sept. 30, 2015.
Prior to Friday’s vote, the Senate Republican majority tried four times to begin debate on a House-passed bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security while stopping the president’s unconstitutional actions granting executive amnesty to illegal immigrants. Each of those times, Alexander voted to begin debate on the House-passed legislation, while every Senate Democrat blocked consideration.
Because of a Democrat filibuster, it would have required 60 votes to begin debate on the House-passed legislation. Overriding a presidential veto of legislation to stop the president’s executive amnesty would require 67 votes. Republicans hold a 54-46 majority in the U.S. Senate.
The Department of Homeland Security includes the Coast Guard, the Secret Service, Customs and Border Protection, the Transportation Security Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as other agencies that Alexander said are critical to the defense of our nation.