America is a land of opportunity and a country that has always been comprised of immigrants searching for the promise of the American Dream. Just as we are a nation of immigrants, America is also a nation of laws, and those laws must be obeyed and enforced in order to maintain our social compact with one another as citizens of the United States. Therefore, securing our borders and stopping the flood of illegal immigrants must be a top priority for our nation.
Without question, the flood of illegal immigrants at the southern border is due to the President Obama’s refusal to enforce our laws. I believe we should prioritize helping those who follow the legal process for coming to the United States and that the Administration should return those who enter America illegally to their country of origin as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the president has chosen to evade Congress and act unilaterally and illegally. I strongly oppose his unconstitutional actions and the impact they will have on day-to-day life in Oklahoma. And I have supported successful efforts to stop the president's unconstitutional overreach in the courts.
Certain Obama Administration policies have permitted local governments to ignore federal statutes and create “Sanctuary Cities” where illegal immigrants do not fear deportation based solely on their immigration status. The fact that President Obama supports any such policy anywhere in the United States is shameful. Recent events have shown that criminal aliens have used these areas as safe havens to avoid detection and deportation. For those reasons, I support legislation to protect our communities from illegal aliens and prevent state or local governments from ignoring federal law.
Our nation has many brave men and women who are working tirelessly to protect our borders. Their fight against illegal immigration is complex and ever-changing. To provide better enforcement, our border agents need access to innovative equipment and technology. They also need special instruction and training to do the important job of keeping our borders secure. That’s why I have supported legislation and policies to better equip, train and fund our border agent programs.
I support protecting businesses and American workers using verification systems that instantly check a worker's legal status; some states have instituted e-Verify. Employers should have the best tools to check an applicant’s work status quickly, accurately and efficiently. In addition, employers who knowingly hire illegal workers should be prosecuted.
More on Immigration
The Oklahoman - By Senator James Inhofe and Congressman Tom Cole
As one of America’s premier military installations, Fort Sill continuously accepts and trains hundreds of new U.S. Army recruits. After graduating from Fort Sill’s 10-week basic training course, these soldiers go on to help keep the nation safe and freedoms secure — all with skills they learned in Oklahoma. But in June, new neighbors arrived on the post.
While it initially went unnoticed, there is now a very apparent crisis at our borders. Instigated by the failed policy of the Administration, thousands of unaccompanied illegal minors are swarming our borders at the hands of cartels, crossing into our country, overwhelming our facilities and then rarely being returned to their countries of origin. Unless the president enforces our existing immigration laws, the situation will only worsen.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) offered an amendment yesterday to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2015 on the House floor. The amendment responded to the Administration’s inappropriate use of military bases, including Fort Sill in Lawton, for housing illegal unaccompanied minors.
The Oklahoman - Silas Allen
A day after the first wave of unaccompanied immigrant children began arriving at Fort Sill, U.S. Rep. Tom Cole blamed President Barack Obama for the predicament.
Speaking to a group of journalists and publishers Saturday, Cole, R-Moore, said Obama had failed to stanch the flow of people, including unaccompanied children, entering the country illegally across the U.S.-Mexico border.
“This is not a humanitarian crisis,” Cole said. “This is a policy failure.”
The Oklahoman - Editorial Board
Over the course of this year, as many as 90,000 minors fleeing crime- and poverty-ridden Central American countries could be given haven in the United States. Few will ever return to their homeland, prompting U.S. Rep. Tom Cole to say this week: “We need to have some frank policy discussions.”
The Oklahoman - Rick Green and Chris Casteel
Hundreds of young people who came across the southern U.S. border illegally are expected to begin arriving this week at Fort Sill, where they will be housed temporarily.
“Our target date to begin receiving children at Fort Sill is Friday, June 13,” Kenneth J. Wolfe, spokesman for the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said Monday.
News9 - Michael Konopasek
Questions remained unanswered late Monday over what will come of more than 600 illegal juvenile immigrants on their way to Oklahoma from Texas and Arizona.
Federal officials said the children, who could be living at Ft. Sill for up to four months, could be at the post as early as Tuesday morning.
"As far as the financial [impact], it's putting more [of a] burden here," Lawton resident Cedric Lax said.