Archive for June, 2012
Executive Action on the DREAM Act
In 2007, Congress blocked the DREAM Act which would have provided a path to citizenship for illegal immigrant children who go to college or join the military. At the time, I opposed this misguided legislation. Today, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it will stop deporting and begin giving work permits to illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.
In America we are known for compassion but we are also known for the rule of law. This recent decision by the Obama Administration flies in the face of new citizens who have gone through the appropriate and legal process. This executive order will hurt unemployed Americans currently looking for jobs and circumvents the authority of Congress to make and pass laws.
Once again, the President has put election year politics ahead of the American people and the rule of law.
Oversight Committee Vote to Hold Attorney General in Contempt
As you may be aware, Operation Fast and Furious was part of Project Gunrunner, an operation administered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF). In this project, BATF allowed suspicious individuals to buy hundreds of guns from gun shops in an attempt to trace the path of these firearms back to gangs and drug cartels in Mexico.
One of the guns linked to Fast and Furious was found to be used in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, who was killed in the line of duty on December 14, 2010 in Arizona. Numerous deaths in Mexico and escalating violence ensued as a result of these gun sales, but BATF did not even inform Mexico’s Attorney General of the situation until June 2011, when investigation within the United States began to bring it to light.
In the wake of the murder of Agent Terry and the discovery of hundreds of these weapons “as a result of criminal activity” in both the US and Mexico, many questions have been raised about Fast and Furious and the DoJ’s involvement. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is conducting an ongoing investigation into this, but the DoJ has repeatedly refused to cooperate. Since issuing a subpoena for records related to this case in October 2011, the Oversight Committee has received only 7,600 pages of documents out of the nearly 80,000 requested.
Beyond this, the investigation has showed that the Attorney General has repeatedly lied about the DoJ’s knowledge of this incident. For instance, earlier in June, the Committee reviewed several wiretap applications from the DoJ, which provided further proof that senior DoJ officials knew about Fast and Furious. In several instances of sworn testimony, the Attorney General had told the Committee that these officials did not know, and that the wiretap applications were inconclusive.
The Department of Justice continues to stonewall Congress and I believe it is time for Attorney General Holder to resign. The original Operation Fast and Furious was enough of a threat to American citizens, lawful gun owners, and foreign relations with Mexico, but the continued foot-dragging over the past several months by DoJ has made it untrustworthy under current leadership. We need honesty from our judicial leaders, not scandal that endangers our lives and constitutional rights.
On June 20, the Oversight Committee will consider voting to hold Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with their subpoenas, and I fully support them in this. I will continue to stand for Second Amendment Right protections for all Americans and for integrity and true justice from those officials who are in place to protect it.
I hope that you will not hesitate to contact me regarding any matter where I might be of assistance. Please visit my website at http://akin.house.gov, where you can find more information on current issues or share further thoughts with me via email.
W. Todd Akin