published : 2023-11-13

State AGs Call on House Speaker to Prioritize Bill Empowering States to Combat Illegal Immigration

Attorneys General urge Speaker Johnson to expedite legislation granting states more authority to address migrant crisis

Attorneys General signing letter to urge House Speaker Johnson. (Taken with Nikon Z7)

A group of Attorneys General from 26 states is urging new House Speaker Mike Johnson to prioritize the enactment of the Immigration Enforcement Partnership Act of 2023, or similar legislation, that would grant more authority to states in combatting illegal immigration.

Led by Florida AG Ashley Moody, the Attorneys General wrote a letter to Speaker Johnson, congratulating him on his election and calling for action to address the ongoing migrant crisis.

H.R. 1337, introduced by Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla, would allow state officials to act as federal immigration officers if the head of the Department of Homeland Security fails to fulfill non-discretionary duties related to immigration law enforcement.

The Attorneys General highlight the need for this legislation in light of record numbers of migrant encounters, including those on terror watchlists, at the southern border.

They emphasize that taking action now to empower states to enforce immigration laws could help prevent future crises and secure the border.

Florida AG Ashley Moody speaking at a press conference on immigration issues. (Taken with Canon EOS R5)

The letter requests Speaker Johnson to prioritize passing this legislation and hold a hearing on an expedited basis.

In addition to concerns about illegal immigration, the Attorneys General also express concerns about the flow of fentanyl across the border and the potential for terrorist threats.

They argue that the judicial system alone is insufficient to address the crisis and stress the urgency for Congress to pass the Immigration Enforcement Partnership Act.

House Republicans have passed their own border security legislation, which is yet to be considered by the Senate.

Senate Republicans have also introduced their own proposals, but they were rejected by Senate Democrats.

Border patrol agents apprehending migrants at the southern border. (Taken with Sony A9 II)

The White House has requested $14 billion from Congress for border operations, including funding for migrant services, anti-fentanyl technology, and border agents.

This call from the Attorneys General adds pressure on lawmakers to take action on immigration reform and secure the border.

The outcome of these efforts will have significant implications for national security and immigration policy in the United States.