U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood

With America facing a surge of 80,000 violent criminals on its streets, the U.S. House of Representatives has approved a plan that would enlist as many as 700,000 state and local law enforcement officers in the battle.

The 277-140 vote, according to plan sponsor U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood, R-Ga., affirmed the authority of state and local law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration laws while in the course of their regular duties such as traffic stops and drug arrests.

“The margin by which this bill passed sends an unmistakable message to the Senate from the people’s House that the nation demands action on this issue,” Norwood said. “All across America, people have witnessed horrific crimes committed by criminal illegal aliens, who were released on our communities because we failed to enforce immigration laws.”

“We currently have roughly 5,000 federal agents trying to apprehend 500,000 illegal aliens with court orders against them. Eighty-thousand of them are serious felons, such as murderers, drug dealers, child molesters, and rapists,” Norwood said on the floor of the House. “Those odds are impossible. But if we allow our 700,000 state and local police to volunteer to help, the odds get a lot better.”

He said that might just start the pendulum swinging the other way – toward enforcement of immigration laws.

“And that undermines the illegal immigration lobby’s theme song, which is the lie that we can’t stop illegal immigration so we may as well give in,” he said. “We’re not talking about going after illegal aliens who are otherwise obeying our laws and are just here to work. This bill is targeted only on criminal aliens. Ironically, most of their victims are their fellow immigrants.”

Norwood earlier said the National Council of La Raza had been campaigning hard against the plan to provide funding, training and resources for state and local law enforcement agencies who help federal officers in capturing and detaining criminals who are illegal aliens.

“For those who haven’t figured it out yet, the entire illegal immigration crisis we suffer is due 100 percent from failure to enforce existing law,” Norwood said. “The other side (including La Raza) knows this very well, and knows that the continued suppression of U.S. law enforcement efforts is essential to permanently destroying our borders.”

John Stone, a spokesman for Norwood’s office, said about the criminals and violent individuals targeted by the plan, “there should be no debate, absolutely none, even among the immigrant community.” The estimated 12-20 million illegal aliens who are generally following the U.S. laws would not be targeted under the legislation.

The reaction from La Raza was a “Sorry, Charlie” message.

The plan “is still bad legislation,” said a statement released on the group’s website. It would “compel overworked, untrained law enforcement personnel into enforcing complex federal immigration laws, in addition to fulfilling their other duties.”

The plan “undermines the ability of law enforcement to do its job and compromises public safety,” said a statement from Janet Murguia, NCLR president. “That stance has earned us yet another hit piece from Congressman Norwood in which he calls us ‘radical’ and ‘un-American.’ In a Dear Colleague letter today, Congressman Luis Gutierrez listed more than 100 law enforcement organizations and officials who also oppose the (legislation) for the same reasons we do. Surely Rep. Norwood doesn’t believe that they are ‘radical’ and ‘un-American,’ too.”

“This bill will finally bring enough personnel to the fight that we can have a chance of winning if the Senate will simply do their duty,” Norwood said. “This gives them a single, simple bill to pass that will turn the tables on criminal aliens, if the other body will simply stand up for American citizens instead of lobbyists.”

“If Americans don’t wake up now, they’ll wake up one day soon to find their nation has been stolen by La Raza and pals,” said Norwood.

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