Vitter’s View: Louisiana Schools Get Roped Into Border Crisis

As if the current border crisis weren’t concerning enough as a national problem, it has officially become a Louisiana problem too. The Obama administration is relocating illegal immigrant children throughout the country – including to Louisiana. In fact, Louisiana is astonishingly in the top ten of states forced to receive these children. That means that the children will be educated in our public schools, and that education comes at a cost. In Jefferson Parish alone, the price tag comes to $4.8 million.

It also puts an additional, unfair burden on teachers who will be expected to accommodate non-English speaking students. That’s not fair to the teachers and not fair to the students in the classroom.

Frankly, we’ve had lax enforcement of our immigration laws for decades, and it has only encouraged more immigrants to come here illegally. That’s exactly why we’re seeing the influx of unaccompanied immigrant children arriving at our southern border. This problem could be completely eliminated if the Obama Administration would actually start securing our borders and enforcing immigration laws.

President Obama’s policies created this illegal immigration mess in Louisiana, and the school system should not be left to clean it up. This could potentially cause a huge financial burden for the state, and for no reason other than the Obama Administration is completely disinterested in enforcing immigration laws and inept at securing our border.

We need a policy that actually deters illegal immigration. I have legislation that would implement mandatory detention and expedited removal of any immigrants found to be coming into our country illegally. To some, that may sound harsh, but it’s what we need to do. Because when it comes down to it, we need to send a message to others thinking about coming here illegally. We need to tell the world that illegal immigration is unacceptable, and we can do that by deporting people who come here illegally by the planeload - not educating their kids free of charge.

Louisiana families want the best education for our kids. And as long as illegal immigrant children are being placed into our classrooms, there will be an extra burden on our school systems and an extra cost on our taxpayers. The quality of education our kids receive should absolutely not be compromised in the name of President Obama or anyone’s political agenda.

9 Years Since Hurricane Rita

No state has experienced the damage of hurricanes quite like Louisiana. And because of it, Louisianians have a unique spirit of resilience. The can-do attitude of communities in our state serves as an inspiration to the entire country.

Today, on the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Rita, we can see the effects of that Louisiana can-do attitude. Cameron Parish and southwest Louisiana were slammed by Hurricane Rita in 2005, but in 2014 we’re seeing rebuilding in high-risk flood zones and amazing new development in areas most affected. Some of the most impressive development projects in Louisiana – and even in the country – are happening in Acadiana and southwest Louisiana. We’ve worked together to bring new state of the art natural gas facilities and attract new chemical companies. It’s been exciting to be a part of this growth and rebuilding.

And this year saw a huge victory in implementing a new flood insurance reform law that will help keep flood insurance affordable for Louisianians.

Though we can hope and pray that Louisiana will be safe each hurricane season, we must always be prepared for whatever might come our way. As folks across Louisiana continue to rebuild their communities and lives, I will continue fighting to ensure they receive the assistance they deserve and need.

I’m very thankful for all the rebuilding we’ve done -- and I’m committed to making sure that every community in Louisiana has the support they need to continue moving forward.

Celebrating Constitution Day

Today is Constitution Day, the anniversary of when our Founding Fathers adopted the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787 in Philadelphia.

It’s also known as Citizenship Day and celebrates those who have become U.S. citizens. This is a meaningful celebration, because it recognizes those who legally and deliberately become Americans. The 14th Amendment to the Constitution says, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”

Being an American citizen is the world’s greatest honor. Unfortunately, too many people from other countries abuse our immigration laws. They assume that just coming to America makes you a citizen. You and I both know it doesn’t.

Enforcing the immigration laws we have is absolutely vital, and I’m usually the first to say that includes legal immigration and citizenship. But Constitution Day serves as an important reminder of the integrity of our laws and the blessings of our liberties.

Sometimes it seems like our own President needs to be reminded that the Constitution is law of the land. He’s made a habit of interpreting and enforcing it completely on his own terms.

We need to get back to the best traditions of our democracy – and that includes supporting and enforcing legal immigration into our country.

The Home of the Brave

I’ll never forget exactly where I was 13 years ago during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. I was in an office planning meeting in my Capitol Hill office--doors closed, TVs off-- when my wife Wendy called to tell me the news of the first plane. She called back, much more frantically, when the second plane hit, telling me to get my staff and me out of there. So we rushed out of the office to the nearby National Rifle Association (NRA) office.

There were a lot of calls all throughout the day--but there was one in particular that I still get chills thinking about. I spoke with a Louisiana mother whose son was working in the second tower hit. She had talked to him by phone after the first crash but before the second. She never got to talk to him again.

Today is a solemn anniversary and timeless reminder of those we lost and the immense gratitude we owe our service men and women for their continued sacrifices.

I had the opportunity to visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City with my family earlier this year. It was a moving visit – a true testament to the home of the brave.

It’s incredibly tragic that we still see events like Benghazi two years ago and the recent attacks by ISIS in Iraq and Syria. ISIS is a very serious threat – not just to states in the region, but also to our security and values.

For me, the greatest takeaway from these attacks is the vital role America plays as a world leader. We can’t just react without a strategy – we need to address these issues decisively. Whether it’s from threats abroad or securing our borders here at home, know that I’ll stand for America leading the world and defending freedom.

It’s days like today that we need to thank our service members and their families. We will always honor those whose lives were lost during and since the attacks thirteen years ago. It’s thanks to them that America is truly the home of the brave.

President Obama’s latest on Amnesty

Did you hear President Obama’s big “announcement” last week? He said that he won't be skirting our Constitution to give amnesty to illegal immigrants - or at least not yet. Apparently he's waiting until after the midterm elections to move forward with any executive amnesty.

Pushing pause on his illegal immigration maneuvers doesn't change the fact that we have a crisis on our hands now. The House of Representatives has passed several strong enforcement bills. Now it’s up to Harry Reid and Senate Democrats to pass them, so we can stop the crisis of illegal aliens flooding into Louisiana.

I introduced legislation that would halt the influx of unaccompanied alien children coming into the United States illegally by implementing mandatory detention, expedited removal, and reforms to existing trafficking law.

It’s important that we act now, because President Obama has been releasing illegal criminals into Louisiana and hiding the number of unaccompanied alien children in our state. This is already a national crisis – and we need to stop it before it becomes more of a Louisiana crisis too.

I'll continue fighting against amnesty every day, and I’ll keep working to actually secure our border.