This week the Republican-controlled House judiciary committee debates H.R. 2278, the “Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act” (the SAFE Act), an enforcement-only bill that provides for additional border security, criminal penalties, and immigration detention and deportation, without fixes for our current legal immigration programs or any solution besides deportation for undocumented immigrants who are already here. This is a continuation of the enforcement-only policies of the last 20 years, which appear not to have worked. The bill also authorizes states and local governments to enact and enforce their own immigration laws. Representative Goodlatte says the purpose of the Act is to overturn the Supreme Court decision in Arizona v. United States, 567 U.S. (2012), which struck down most of Arizona’s harsh immigration law, SB 1070, on the grounds of federal preemption, and to encourage the 50 states and local jurisdictions to enact immigration laws such as Arizona’s and to make local police forces function as immigration agents.
What do you think about localities enacting and enforcing immigration laws?
What do you think about additional immigration enforcement and criminal penalties?