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Brooks Introduces Significant Cruz/Sessions Immigration Legislation in the House

February 24, 2016
Press Release
“Congress must stop importing cheap foreign labor and start reforming an abused system that greatly diminishes opportunities for American citizens.” – Rep. Mo Brooks

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL) filed House companion legislation for both the ICE Agent Support Act (H.R. 4597) and the American Jobs First Act (H.R. 4598), which were recently introduced by Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL).  These critical border security measures 1) incentivize the Administration to enforce existing law and 2) reform an often abused visa program, so that Americans are not laid off only to be replaced by cheaper foreign labor.

Rep. Brooks stated, “America’s immigration system has been mangled by an Administration which seeks not to serve the American people, but rather to serve special interest groups by promoting foreign labor.  Today, I was pleased to file companion legislation to a pair of measures introduced by Senators Ted Cruz and Jeff Sessions, which would empower Immigration and Customs Enforcement in their efforts to identify and remove illegal aliens while reforming our foreign-worker visa program so that it cannot be used against American workers.  It is unconscionable that American workers are being laid off after training their foreign replacements.  Congress must stop importing cheap foreign labor and start reforming an abused system that greatly diminishes opportunities for American citizens; the American Jobs First Act would do just that.  I concur with Senator Sessions when he says, ‘I hope the Senate and House will take up and pass the American Jobs First Act, and send the message that real immigration reform answers to the American people, not the special interests.’”

Brooks continued, “Similarly, we must ensure that our federal immigration enforcement officers have the adequate resources to do their jobs efficiently and effectively.  Put simply, the ICE Agent Support Act would channel fines imposed on various illegal immigrants into an immigration enforcement fund, supporting our brave immigration enforcement agents.  I have great respect for the work of my colleagues in the Senate to find commonsense solutions to our current immigration crisis and their efforts to strengthen border security.  I look forward to garnering support for these necessary measures in the House.”

Sen. Cruz said, “I thank my colleague in the House, Rep. Mo Brooks, for his leadership and dedication to make immigration work for the American people again.  The American Jobs First Act is a necessary effort to repair the H-1B visa program to prevent it from displacing American workers.  This legislation aligns the program with its original intent, does more to prevent employers from using the program to replace hard-working American men and women with cheaper foreign labor, and helps to create greater transparency of job needs and opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields, so that unemployed Americans with the necessary skills can apply for these jobs.”

“I also applaud Rep. Brooks for introducing the House companion bill to the ICE Agent Support Act that Sen. Sessions and I introduced earlier this month.  This legislation sends a clear signal of support to the ICE agents who risk their lives on a daily basis to enforce our nation’s immigration laws, and I am grateful for Rep. Brooks’ collaboration on this important initiative,” Sen. Cruz concluded


The ICE Agent Support Act:

  • Requires that certain civil fines collected into the Treasury Department's Immigration Enforcement Account be used to offset money being appropriated for identifying and removing criminal aliens.
  • Guarantees that ICE agents have the funding and resources necessary to enforce the law as required by Congress.
  • Requires that within 30 days of passage, the Secretary of Homeland Security establishes a percentage of criminal investigator positions in ICE’s “Enforcement and Removal Operations Division” which handles most of the immigration work within ICE.

The American Jobs First Act:

  • Establishes a minimum salary for H-1B employees and the creation of a “cooling off” period that would prevent employers from abusing the H-1B program by preventing them from using the program to displace American workers.
  • Creates greater transparency of job needs and opportunities in STEM fields.
  • Would prevent the massive layoffs at companies such as Disney, where workers were forced to train their foreign replacements.