The Hill Report: Week of August 20 - August 24, 2018

As we continue to work our way through the mire of immigration reform in Congress, it is critical that we have all of the facts at hand. Late last week, the independent, nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a study I requested in 2015 entitled "Criminal Alien Statistics: Information on Incarcerations, Arrests, Convictions, Costs, and Removals.”

The report sheds even more light on an alarming Obama-era practice that allowed criminal illegal aliens to roam our streets rather than placing them behind bars where those who break the law belong. While percentages of criminal aliens in state and federal prisons decreased between 2011 and 2016 according to the report, the current administration, which stringently enforces our immigration laws, has found gang members, human traffickers, and drug smugglers were allowed to cross our border freely and directly into our state and country. 

This report proves that our national security was neglected by the previous administration and it is time we in Congress ensure a return to law and order by securing our southern border and protecting American families from criminals. You can read the full report here.

Meetings in Dallas

Korean American Coalition 
I was honored to receive recognition from the Korean American Coalition at their banquet over the weekend. Korean Americans contribute significantly to the Dallas community and U.S. economy, and they have some of the highest rates of small business ownership. Their community offers just one example of immigrant success and achievement of the American Dream. Suzanne Scholte, a human rights activist who has spent much time addressing issues on the Korean peninsula, gave the keynote speech on the atrocities of the Kim regime and the steps the global community can take to bring peace to the area.

Republic National Distributing Co.
On Monday, I was delighted to join my friends at Republic National Distributing Company’s North Texas facility. During our tour of the facility, I was able to see firsthand how the reinvestment in their company made possible by the Tax Cut and Jobs Act are impacting their business operations. RNDC employs over 850 Texans in the DFW area alone, and I am proud that Republicans in Congress were able to come together to pass such vital legislation that allows American businesses to not just succeed but thrive. 

Jake Mercier with Highland Park High School 
This week I was delighted to sit down with Jake Mercier, a recent graduate from Highland Park High School (HPHS), to discuss mental health issues facing our community and our nation. As Class President of HPHS, Jake Mercier took it upon himself to call on the administration to hire more mental health counselors at Highland Park High School and Highland Park Middle School, as well as other much needed reforms for the system. As an advocate of healthcare providers, I am happy to work with mental health professionals to help their patients and better our communities. I believe we must continue to invest in programs that teach people and train counselors to identify mental illnesses and then help direct those affected towards suitable and productive treatment pathways. 

Texas Security Bank 
I was pleased to speak at Texas Security Bank regarding the robust American economy, visible positive impact of tax reform, and my efforts to tailor financial regulation. Indicators of employment and consumer strength are strong; we have seen record unemployment numbers across various groups and retail sales are up. As your representative in Washington, I am committed to free-market policies that support economic growth and will continue to work with my colleagues to help improve the lives of American families.

Alzheimers Foundation
This week I visited a Memories in the Making class for residents of the Memory Unit of the Plaza at Richardson in conjunction with Lifetime Wellness. The program developed by the Alzheimer's Association allows individuals with Alzheimer's or other dementia to express themselves through art. As individuals with dementia lose the ability to communicate with words, they may discover a capacity to recover lost memories, tell stories and express emotions through drawing and painting.  More important than the pictures and stories, however, is the sense of well-being and pleasure that comes with participating in a supportive, social environment. At the end of the class, I accepted a piece of finished artwork from one of the participants. It was such a delight to meet with each of the staff and to see the great work and advances they are making with their touch of love to those who are experiencing memory loss as well as their families. A big thank you to the Alzheimer’s Association for inviting me to be there.


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