The U.S. House Judiciary Committee Thursday afternoon takes a closer look at Trey Gowdy’s immigration bill, Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act (SAFE Act), H.R. 2278, to grant states and localities the authority to enforce federal immigration laws.
The hearings get underway as the U.S. Senate takes up debate on a comprehensive immigration reform bill spearheaded by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and the bipartisan “Gang of Eight.”
Gowdy chairs the House Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee and his bill is one of a handful of border enforcement bills the committee will examine through testimony. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) is an an original co-sponsor of the bill and says local law enforcement officials are already on the ground in their communities and it makes sense to capitalize on their abilities.
Boosting local authority was the idea behind recent immigration legislation in South Carolina. Federal courts ruled that the states could not take on that role.
Gowdy says,”If we are serious about finding an immigration solution to last generations and strengthen national security, then we must deal with interior enforcement.”
The hearings will be streamed from the Judiciary Committee website at 2 p.m.