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Rep. Doug Collins: Welcoming those who come to US legally is cause for thanks
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Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the many blessings we enjoy. Every citizen of the United States has ample reason to be grateful for this great country and the liberties, opportunities, stability, and peace gifted to us by previous generations.

America’s multitude of attractive qualities have made it the most sought-after nation for immigrants the world over for centuries. From the pilgrims who came to the New World seeking religious freedom to those currently awaiting final permission to come to America after navigating a bureaucratic maze, these immigrants have faced and overcome tremendous obstacles for their chance at the American dream.

Sadly, the Obama Administration’s actions concerning immigration have undermined America’s proud tradition of welcoming folks into our country in an orderly and legal fashion. These unilateral actions discouraged millions of Americans, myself included, who oppose amnesty and felt that their voice was not being heard.

Because I heard from so many concerned Georgians on this issue, I made immigration enforcement a top priority of mine this Congress. The Immigration Accountability Act, which would defund the president’s amnesty program, was the first bill I introduced this year. The House Judiciary Committee, of which I am a member, debated and voted on numerous immigration bills that would increase enforcement and protect our nation.

I also joined my colleagues in passing legislation on the House floor the defund President Barack Obama’s immigration executive orders.

Opponents of amnesty received refreshing news last week, when the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals said that President Obama’s proposed executive actions on immigration were an overreach of his authority. This marked the second occasion that a court has rejected the president’s unlawful expansion of his authority in an effort to provide amnesty to illegal immigrants.

This court decision should encourage all of us who support constitutional government. Our Founding Fathers wisely established checks and balances in the federal government, and it is refreshing to see evidence of these mechanisms in play.

The coming year will bring opportunities to renew our national commitment to a government that is accountable to the people and the rule of law, and I hope you will join me in these efforts.

This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for the enduring power of our constitutional system. I’m thankful that we live in a country in which the will of the people and the rule of law still make a difference. And I am grateful for the hardworking, visionary, and entrepreneurial folks from all corners of the globe whose drive to build a better life for themselves and their children has made our nation, and our world, a better place.

U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, a Republican, represents Georgia’s 9th District. Contact him at 1504 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515, 202-225-9893; or 210 Washington St. NW, Suite 202, Gainesville 30501, 770-297-3388; website, dougcollins.house.gov.

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