Columns

Blaine's Bulletin: Protecting the Safety of Americans

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Washington, July 29, 2016 | comments
National security and issues related to the safety of Americans have been at the forefront of many discussions I’ve had with our fellow Missourians lately. Whether it is regarding the terrorist attacks happening across the world, the recent anniversary of the troubling and poorly crafted Iran Nuclear deal, or events that have happened here in Missouri – the level of concern about our nation’s security seems to be increasing by the day.
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National security and issues related to the safety of Americans have been at the forefront of many discussions I’ve had with our fellow Missourians lately. Whether it is regarding the terrorist attacks happening across the world, the recent anniversary of the troubling and poorly crafted Iran Nuclear deal, or events that have happened here in Missouri –  the level of concern about our nation’s security seems to be increasing by the day.

Recently, I had the distinct honor to participate in the annual Westminster Institute for National Security. The program is a week-long seminar for high school students and I was invited to be a speaker one evening and answer questions regarding national security from the students that were participating in the event. We discussed the need to make sure our military has the resources and equipment it needs to meet the modern challenges that it faces. We also talked about the fact that many countries around the world hunger for America to be a leader on the world stage again. And, as mentioned above, we talked about terrorism and the need to fight it at home and abroad. It is encouraging to know there are students who are well informed and care deeply about America’s national security interests. It was a great discussion and I hope the students that attended will continue to take an interest in our country’s security.

Illegal immigration is another issue that comes up a lot when I’m meeting with constituents. Earlier this year in Kansas City, Kansas and Montgomery County, Missouri five people were murdered, allegedly at the hands of Pablo Serrano-Vitorino. Not only is Serrano-Vitorino an illegal alien, but he had been deported previously for a felony conviction, re-entered the country, and was in police custody multiple times in the month prior to perpetrating these heinous murders.

After the news broke, I contacted officials at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to discuss what happened in this specific case. Clearly, the system is completely broken if an illegal alien who has a felony record and has already been deported once is released from custody. It’s clear that the Obama Administration is either unable or unwilling to carry out our current immigration laws in place in order to protect our citizens. After being left unsatisfied with the answers provided by ICE, I recently introduced the Empowering Local Law Enforcement Act, which would give local law enforcement the necessary authority to get dangerous illegal aliens off our streets.

This legislation would force the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to train willing local law enforcement officers to carry out federal immigration actions such as arresting and detaining illegal aliens. This program is already in place, but is unused by DHS. It would also provide local law enforcement with information on the most dangerous illegal aliens and provide with them with authority to detain these individuals. At the end of the day, it is of the utmost importance to provide local law enforcement the authority to protect our communities from these dangerous individuals.

Our national security doesn’t just depend on what happens overseas, what happens here at home matters, too. I will continue to update you regarding the status of this piece of legislation and any issues regarding national security and immigration. More needs to be done to secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws and I remain committed to protecting the safety of Americans.

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Legislation Search
2230 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-2956 tel (202) 225-5712 fax
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2117 Missouri Boulevard Jefferson City, Mo., 65109 (573) 635-7232 tel (573) 635-8347 fax
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113 East Pearce Boulevard Wentzville, Mo., 63385 (636) 327-7055 tel
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516 Jefferson St. Washington, MO 63090 (636) 239-2276 tel (636) 239-0478 fax
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