U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., who is serving as the vice chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee despite having spent just 15 months in Congress, applauded the Trump administration for stationing the national guard on the border to curb illegal immigration but insisted more needed to be done.
Rooney weighed in on the matter towards the end of last week.
“It is certainly within the president’s right to utilize the National Guard, and both Presidents Bush and Obama have done the same, but whatever we do now to interdict the large march from Honduras is a short-term fix,” Rooney said on Thursday. “Congress must provide a long-term solution that will fix both our border and our broken visa system, and I have worked hard to this end. About one-half of all people in the United States illegally right now came via our visa system, then overstayed. Incredibly, we have no process to enforce visa durations and detect unlawful overstays.”
Rooney also pointed the blame for inaction on the matter towards the other end of Capitol Hill
“The Senate should pass the legislation the House has sent to them on asylum, visas, and immigration. We must control who enters our country,” Rooney said.
The Southwest Florida Republican also showcased his record on immigration issues including backing bills to improve security and infrastructure on the border, ending the diversity lottery, mandating businesses use E-Verify for future hires and legislation cracking down on illegals who commit crimes in the U.S.
First elected to Congress in 2016, Rooney has often focused on international issues during his first year in the House. Before being elected, Rooney sat on the Advisory Commission on the Panama Canal from 2002 to 2005 and 2008 to 2016, only taking a break to serve as then President George W. Bush’s ambassador to the Holy See.