Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas

Olson Bill Restores Congressional Oversight of Immigration Agency

July 30, 2015
Press Release

Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) today introduced legislation to restore congressional authority over immigration enforcement actions by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  In 1988, Congress created the Immigration Examinations Fee Account which removed most USCIS funding from the annual appropriation process, limiting congressional oversight of the agency.  Since 2011, President Obama has issued multiple memos that weaken our ability to enforce existing immigration laws.  To restore needed oversight, Olson introduced H.R. 3302, the Ensuring Congressional Oversight of Immigration Act. This bill sunsets the USCIS’ authority in two years unless extended by legislation. Original cosponsors include: Reps. Phil Roe (R-TN) and Brian Babin (R-TX).

“The Constitution rightly instilled a critical set of checks and balances for each branch of government to ensure no one branch became too powerful,” Rep. Pete Olson said. “A confluence of actions by Congress and the president have reduced this oversight process and expanded the executive branches power beyond its intended scope. Recent actions by President Obama have resulted in hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants flooding into America in violation of existing immigration laws and outside the purview of Congress. This bill is an important first step to restore the proper balance of power set forth by the Constitution between the legislative and executive branch in our immigration laws.”

The Ensuring Congressional Oversight of Immigration Act also prohibits the use of any funds, appropriated or through fees, for use of the various memos and executive actions that allow for amnesty. By issuing a sunset to USCIS’ authority, Congress can reauthorize the parts of the system that work and change those that don’t.

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Media Contact: Melissa Kelly
(202) 225-5951