Iowa Congressman Steve King is commending his colleagues this week for supporting "a real debate on immigration."
The area congressman was among those supporting the 239-182 approval of U.S. House of Representatives H.R. 4437 - also known as the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005.
King notes that the immigration reform bill follows a series of speeches by President Bush on border security. The bill must still be approved by the Senate and signed by the President to become a law.
"For the past year, we haven't been able to watch an entire nightly newscast without hearing about this nation's lack of enforcement of our own immigration laws," said King Saturday. "Congress owed Americans a debate on immigration, and Americans finally got that debate this week."
While last night we passed common-sense legislation, I will continue to make sure we work to enforce the laws we have, enforce our sovereignty and not only secure our borders but remove the job and welfare magnets that draw four million illegal aliens to break our laws to get to this country every year."
Some provisions of the bill:
* Border fence in parts of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
* Legal status of workers.
* "Catch and release" policy for non-Mexican aliens.
* Federal law enforcement funds from going to local governments that have enacted laws prohibiting local law enforcement officers from informing the federal government of known illegal aliens.
* Lottery program
* Law enforcement to access vital information on criminal aliens.
* An illegal alien on the first conviction for drunk driving.
King is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, Immigration Subcommittee and the Immigration Reform Caucus.