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June 19, 2015

Greetings,

This week, I introduced legislation to ensure that the Department of Homeland Security does not use fees collected from legal immigrants to fund President Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional executive amnesty.

I will continue to uphold the rule of law, protect our citizens, and champion legal immigration.

Keep Texas strong,

TC Sig
Ted Cruz

 

Sen. Cruz Applauds 2016 NDAA for Strengthening Our National Defense 

On Thursday, Sen. Cruz issued the following statement regarding the Senate’s final vote on the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Sen. Cruz introduced or cosponsored more than a dozen amendments that were successfully adopted into the bill. 

“The 2016 NDAA will increase the military readiness and capabilities of the United States without increasing spending on programs entirely unrelated to our national defense,” said Sen. Cruz. “And I am grateful for the support my amendments received, including measures that will ensure the readiness of our troops, support for our allies, and continued vigilance against our adversaries. This bill reaffirms our commitment to the physical, mental and financial health of the men and women in uniform who volunteer to serve our nation. The reforms in this bill will provide more of our service members with financial benefits upon leaving military service, appropriate mental and physical health care, and improved quality of life for them and their families. Despite these laudable objectives, I could not vote for this bill because I made a promise when I was elected to office that I would not vote for an NDAA that continued to allow the President to violate the constitutional rights of American citizens by indefinitely detaining them without due process.”

Read the full release here.

Sen. Cruz Introduces the Immigration Slush Fund Elimination Act 

On Wednesday, Sen. Cruz introduced the Immigration Slush Fund Elimination Act to eliminate the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) ability to use the fees it collects for the provision of legal immigration services to fund amnesty. The bill would also restore congressional authority over the appropriations process and refocus the agency on its core national security mission. 

“America has always been a land of refuge and opportunity for those seeking freedom, and we should champion legal immigration,” said Sen. Cruz. “Ronald Reagan referred to legal immigrants, immigrants like my father, as Americans by choice. The federal government should not be in the business of looting the wallets of those who followed the law and came here legally to fund the President’s illegal and unconstitutional amnesty. This bill will cut off DHS’s credit card and put Congress back in charge of funding the agencies responsible for immigration.” 

Specifically the Immigration Slush Fund Elimination Act would do the following: 

  • End DHS’s ability to fund lawlessness. In recent congressional testimony, USCIS Chief Financial Officer Joseph Moore confirmed that USCIS can access more than $1 billion in fee-based funding, and that it used those funds to pay for an unauthorized amnesty processing center in Arlington, Va. Eliminating the ability of USCIS to use the money it collects to support amnesty and other unauthorized activities is a first step toward reining in the executive branch’s lawless approach to immigration.
  • Restore congressional authority over DHS and immigration issues. This would reduce USCIS’s ability to ignore the people’s representatives and restore respect for the Constitution’s separation of powers and the legislative power of the purse.
  • Eliminate DHS’s profit incentive, which distracts from the agency’s core national security mission. Removing the focus on fees and revenue will once again focus USCIS on its core responsibilities, including protecting our national security and preventing immigration benefit fraud.

Read the full release here.

Sen. Cruz Introduces the Human Rights Accountability Act 

On Thursday, Sen. Cruz introduced the Human Rights Accountability Act to incentivize the U.S. Department of State to issue a report on Iran’s human rights record. The bill would withhold five percent of the Department’s operating budget – with the exception of funds for Worldwide Security Protection – for every 30 days the report is delayed. The State Department is required by law to release the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, including Iran’s, on February 25 of this year.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s abysmal human rights record is inextricably tied to its nuclear ambitions. Like the Soviets in the 20th century, the mullahs not only violently oppress their own people but also seek to project that oppression against free peoples around the world, first and foremost the United States and our allies. They have vowed to destroy our very way of life,” said Sen. Cruz.  

“When Ronald Reagan confronted the Soviet Union with the goal of ‘we win, they lose,’ he did not reject negotiations. But he also did not shy away from the Soviets’ appalling human rights record.  He made exposing and denouncing their abuses, and expressing support for their victims, a cornerstone of his approach. We can do the same thing now, by making Iran’s human rights record a negotiating tool, not something to be swept under the rug. It is critical that the State Department release the 2014 report so that Congress can have access to the most recent data before we cast a vote on any nuclear deal. 

Last week, in response to a letter Sens. Cruz, Kirk, and four of their colleagues sent the State Department inquiring about the report’s delay, the State Department sent Sen. Cruz a letter suggesting that scheduling conflicts had prohibited its release.

After receiving the letter, Sen. Cruz penned an op-ed in the Washington Times urging the State Department to release the report on Iran’s human rights practices before the Iran deal comes to Congress.

In the op-ed, Sen. Cruz wrote: “Congress must have access to our State Department’s next official assessment before it can cast judgment on any deal the P5+1 might strike with Iran. If Iran’s already dismal human rights record has indeed continued to worsen over the last year, it would raise significant additional concerns about engaging in nuclear negotiations with this regime.” 

Read the full op-ed here.

Regional Update from Central Texas Constituent Services Assistant Michael Ivy

Michael Ivy

As the new constituent services assistant for Veterans Affairs, I have the opportunity to assist Texas veterans with many issues, including benefits, claims, and healthcare. It is an honor to assist veterans, and in doing so, to show our appreciation for their immeasurable sacrifice to our nation. I am grateful for this new opportunity and am eager to serve veterans with the excellence the deserve. 

  

Central Texas Office
300 E. 8th St,
Suite #961
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: (512) 916-5834

North Texas Office
Lee Park Tower II,
3626 N. Hall St., Suite #410
Dallas, TX 75219
Phone: (214) 599-8749

Southeast Texas Office
808 Travis St.,
Suite #1420
Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (713) 718-3057

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South/Central Texas Office
9901 IH-10W,
Suite # 950
San Antonio, TX 78230
Phone: (210) 340-2885

East Texas Office
305 S. Broadway,
Suite 501
Tyler, TX 75702
Phone: (903) 593-5130

South Texas Office
200 S. 10th St,
Suite 1603
McAllen, TX 78501
Phone: (956) 686-7339

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Washington Office
404 Russell Senate Office
Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-5922

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LIGHTER SIDE

 

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

ALERT ALERT

OMG!! -> Government Now Wants To Seize Your Car For Going 5MPH Over The Limit

We’ve discussed this on and off for several years now. Civil asset forfeiture is a legal process that allows the government to seize assets and cash from citizens without any due process or judicial oversight.

You don’t even have to be charged with a crime. You are assumed guilty unless you can somehow prove your innocence.

Of course, not everyone has this ability… if you aren’t local, state, or federal law enforcement, this is called stealing, and you go to prison.

But the government is actually a bigger problem than common thieves.

A 2015 report showed that law enforcement used civil asset forfeiture to steal more from US residents than every thief, robber, and burglar in America combined.

About $4.5 BILLION worth of cash, cars, homes, and other property is taken by civil asset forfeiture each year – hundreds of millions more than common criminals steal.

And it happens at every level. Your local cop can use civil asset forfeiture just like your state trooper. And then any one of the armed agents of the US government—from the FBI to the Fish and Wildlife Service—can rob you for whatever reason they want.

This travesty continues to grow because the cops who take your stuff get to keep it. Police departments and government agencies around the country depend on civil asset forfeiture to boost their budgets.

Cops will literally keep some of the cars they take as squad cars. And they make a fortune auctioning off the houses, boats, and anything else they confiscate.

Obviously this gives cops an incentive to steal, whether or not they actually think the property was used in a crime, or acquired illegally. Remember, civil asset forfeiture adds billions every year to their bottom line.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case of civil asset forfeiture.

Tyson Timbs was convicted of selling a small amount of drugs to an undercover police officer. He was sentenced to house arrest, and paid about $1,200 in fines.

But then police used civil asset forfeiture to take his $42,000 Land Rover which Timbs purchased with money from a life insurance policy after his father died. The money did not come from selling drugs, or any other illegal activity.

Timbs sued, and the case made its way to the Supreme Court, because every lower court in Indiana said the forfeiture was perfectly legit.

The case revolves around whether or not the seizure of the Land Rover was an excessive fine under the 8th amendment, and whether or not this protection against excessive fines applies to state governments.

And the public got some crazy insight into the government’s position.

The Indiana Solicitor General was arguing in favor of civil asset forfeiture when Justice Stephen Breyer asked him a hypothetical.

Breyer asked, if a state needs revenue, could it force someone to forfeit their Bugatti, Mercedes, or Ferrari for speeding? Even if they were going just 5 miles per hour over the speed limit?

And the utterly appalling answer from the Indiana Solicitor General was, yes.

That’s right… the official government position is that they can steal any amount of your property in “connection” with any crime whatsoever, no matter how trivial the crime may be… even exceeding the speed limit by 5 miles per hour.

This is how overbearing and authoritarian the government has become in the land of the free.

This is how much power your local cop has… and the power only grows as you go to state, and federal officials.

If there is any solace in any of this, it is that the other Supreme Court Justices were reportedly laughing at this exchange.

The justices seemed incredulous that Indiana’s top lawyer was using such absurd assertions and flimsy reasoning in his arguments.

So, for now, we can keep our cars if we get pulled over for speeding. But that may not always be the case…

Depending on how this is ruled, it could pave the way for even more egregious abuses of power… or it could curb the practice, and reign in these thieves in uniforms.

Just understand where the government is coming from. These politicians, bureaucrats and officers think they can do whatever they want. Absolutely anything goes, with no limitation whatsoever.

And that makes it a little tough to feel like you really live in the land of the free.

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