– By G. Miller Thompson –
Representing South Carolina’s Third Congressional District (including Edgefield County) is Laurens native Jeff Duncan. I was able to interview the Congressman by phone Friday afternoon and here are his thoughts on issues at home and abroad.
First, the Congressman and I discussed some issues from abroad. Mr. Duncan is an ardent supporter of Israel. In the past weeks, Israel has been forced to defend itself against a torrent of missile fire from the Gaza Strip. President Obama has called for Israel to back off in its defense, but Duncan says that the White House should be standing for Israel’s right to defend itself and its people. Supporting Israel does not include boots on the ground, but rather funding for its defense mechanisms. Asked if Secretary Kerry is doing an adequate job of representing America and our interest, Duncan quickly responded, “No.” He went on to add that “a lot of times is doesn’t seem we mean what we say,” when asked how he would advise the Secretary.
On the subject of the Benghazi Special Committee, Duncan seems optimistic that answers are coming. He applauded Trey Gowdy for using a “prosecutorial method” to lead the committee. “He (Gowdy) is doing discovery, he’s doing depositions, he’s building a case before they have to the first hearing.” Duncan was not sure of a date for the first hearing, but Chairman Gowdy has said he hopes to hold the first in September.
Then we turned our attention back home, namely, the southern border. I wrote on the issue last week, and Congressman Duncan shares my concerns. “Our national sovereignty is being violated,” he said, “We should…determine who comes into our country, what they come for, how long they stay, and who we grant citizenship rights to.” Duncan believes that allowing these illegal aliens to stay and be granted citizenship rights “water[s] down what it means to be an American citizen” by making the process so easy. The Congressman went on to outline economic concerns, as taxpayers will be footing the bill for health care and education of the illegal immigrant children who remain in the country. “It’s just going to be a drain on the very limited resources of the states.” He noted.
Duncan stated that he believes the chaos at the border is our greatest immediate national security interest. “We have no idea who is in this country,” he said. “If I was a terrorist…I would try to exploit that (a ‘porous’ border) and if the drug cartels can get drugs and humans across, surely they can get other nefarious items and people across. So we have to be very cautious,” Duncan pointed out.
Last week the Congressman took to Twitter to tweet 21 unilateral actions that President Obama could take, legally, that would secure the border. That list can be found appended to this article. Since the President likes to act unilaterally, it only makes sense that he takes advantage of Congressman Duncan’s ideas.
On the House’s lawsuit against President Obama, Duncan said he voted to authorize because Obama has “overstepped the separation of powers.” Calling the lawsuit “an arrow in the quiver,” Duncan is hopeful about the end result of this suit and believes that the court is the rightful place for settlement. Asked about impeachment, Duncan said, “I don’t think the President has violated enough of our trust as a nation to warrant impeachment.”
The national debt is weighing on the Congressman in all his decisions in DC. Concerned for future generations, Duncan closed the interview saying, “I think that those debts are wrong and we’re going to continue to try to make the right decisions.”
The Congressman faces a Democratic challenger in the November election.
Complete answers to my questions will be posted on my Facebook page, G. Miller Thompson, in the coming days.
21 Things President Obama Can do to Secure the Border, courtesy of Representative Jeff Duncan:
1.) End the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program
2.) Rescind the Morton memos on prosecutorial discretion
3.) Rescind the 2012 changes to ICE detainer policy
4.) Call up the national guard
5.) Deny aid to Mexico/Central America until steps are taken to stop the flow of people
6.) Require HHS to provide accommodations for UACs within 100 miles of the border
7.) If HHS finds illegal relatives of a minor living in the US, DHS must reunite and remove them both
8.) Build the fence required by the 2005 Secure Fence Act
9.) Expedite removing illegals with immigration courts at National Guard detention facilities and HHS accommodations for UACs
10.)ICE must resume worksite efforts, such as removing illegals held at worksites
11.)Implement the biometric entry-exit system enacted by Congress in 1996
12.)Verify legal status through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program
13.)Stop using taxpayer money to advertise welfare benefits in foreign countries
14.)Order the Department of State and USCIS to enforce public charge provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
15.)Order USCIS to resume issuing Notices to Appear to aliens who commit fraud in immigration benefits applications
16.)Order USCIS to stop granting waivers to entire classes of illegal aliens
17.)Order the IRS to investigate and prosecute Child Tax Credit fraud
18.)Order the IRS to investigate and prosecute Earned Income Tax Credit fraud
19.)Order DOJ to file lawsuits challenging sanctuary policies in cities and states, since they violate Federal law
20.)Honor existing, and future, agreements with state and local law enforcement
21.)Stop punishing, and start encouraging states that help enforce immigration laws