Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) today delivered the following remarks on the House floor in support of the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act (H.R. 2825).

Chairman Goodlatte: Mr. Speaker, I thank the Gentleman from Texas for yielding.

Authorizing all of the Cabinet Departments is important, but it is crucial that Congress reauthorize the Department of Homeland Security.  The American People must have faith that DHS will serve to protect this nation and this authorization demonstrates Congress’ commitment to the critical missions being performed daily by this diverse department.

This bill is the product of collaboration between several committees and the Judiciary Committee greatly contributed as this bill authorizes three component agencies within the jurisdiction of the House Judiciary Committee – United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the United States Secret Service.

Make no mistake, we authorize the Department and its agencies to carry out each and every duty and utilize every tool necessary to keep America safe.  While the bill does contain much of the authorizing language as reported out of the Judiciary Committee, it does not reflect all of our important work on the ICE and USCIS authorizations.  It is critical that these two DHS components have all of the tools necessary to carry out their functions.  H.R. 2825 should have explicitly included such tools as the clear Congressional intent is to ensure that these agencies have them at their disposal in order to enforce the laws.

I do support this bill because it is an important step in ensuring that ICE and USCIS can continue to perform at a very high level.  This Congress must soon finish the job, however, and ensure that these agencies have the resources and legislative support that they need to enforce our immigration laws in the interior of the United States.  The House must pass the Judiciary Committee’s enforcement bills including the Davis-Oliver Act, the Protection of Children Act, the Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act, and the Legal Workforce Act, among others.  I intend to see those bills on the House Floor in the near future and I look forward to fulfilling our promise so that DHS can truly fulfill its mission.

I yield back the balance of my time.