The following statement was issued to clarify the felony provision in H.R. 4437.
America is a nation with borders and borders matter. We are a nation of citizens and citizenship matters. We are also a nation of laws and laws matter. We have an important immigrant heritage and honoring that heritage matters.
In December, the House of Representatives passed a strong border security bill aimed at securing our borders and preventing illegal immigration.
However, on December 16, 2005, there were 191 House Democrats who voted to oppose House Republican efforts to reduce the crime of unlawful presence in the United States from a felony to a misdemeanor. Instead, they voted to make felons out of all of those who remain in our country illegally.
While we are disappointed with the House Democrats’ lack of compassion and the continued efforts by Senator Reid to block action on immigration legislation so that Congress can proceed to conference, it remains our intent to produce a strong border security bill that will not make unlawful presence in the United States a felony.