Brat optimistic on bills to limit immigration, funding for radical Islam
Congress is slowly coming around to the need to enhance national security, according to Virginia Rep. Dave Brat, which makes him optimistic about four bills he proposed this month that would tighten immigration controls and cut off funding for terrorist groups.
"Even Paul Ryan is messaging this week that we have to crack down on illegal immigration, as he's running his own race," Brat told the Washington Examiner, referring to the primary election campaign Speaker Ryan is waging against conservative challenger Paul Nehlen.
"I hope everyone is learning that these are not talking points," he said. "This is a reality around the globe."
Brat this month added to the growing roster of legislation that he has proposed to enhance national security. Two of the proposals, the Detain and Deport Act and the Illegal Alien Criminal Notification Act, aim to strengthen immigration laws by diminishing the ability of so-called "sanctuary cities" and rogue state agencies to defy federal policies, and by enhancing the use of "detainers," which can be used to request the detention of illegal aliens charged with a crime when they might otherwise be released.
Federal detention policy enforcement has been loosened under the Obama administration, and local law enforcement agencies sometimes refuse to comply when requests are submitted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "I had met with the head of ICE, and I asked [about] the number one problem … He said it was the problem of these detainers," Brat said.
Two more of Brat's proposals are geared toward cutting off government funding for radical Islamists. The first would prohibit the Department of Homeland Security from funding groups affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, which has ties to foreign terrorist organizations.
The second would prevent foreign governments that do not allow for religious freedom in their own countries from funding religious groups in the United States.
"Our enemy is using our tolerance and virtue against us. We have to end that by adding a requirement and some logic that if any other state or actor wants to fund religious groups in this country, they have to allow religious toleration in their home country," he said. "That seems to me to be a reasonable, rational response. The idea is that we need to defund any group we find out is working not to support the law of the land."
Brat said that as a result of the growing number of terrorist attacks taking place globally, Congress is becoming more focused on the problems at hand.
"We've been aware and we've been messaging on these issues for a couple of years," he said. "But with ... the disasters happening across the world on an almost weekly basis in Nice, in our own country, and elsewhere, it's time to firm up some of these laws."