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Congressman Rob Woodall

Representing the 7th District of Georgia

Woodall, Perdue Lead Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation to Improve Immigration System

May 24, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representatives Rob Woodall (R-GA-07) and Jackie Speier (D-CA-14) re-introduced the “Strengthening the Department of Homeland Security Secure Mail Initiative Act (H.R. 2595)” in the U.S. House – where it was overwhelmingly approved last Congress – while U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) is among those leading the charge in the Senate by introducing companion legislation.  The measure would update the USCIS Secure Mail Initiative (USCIS SMI) to offer recipients – at no additional cost to the taxpayer – the option of choosing signature-required delivery upon approval and completion.

Georgia’s 7th District is home to a large and diverse immigrant population, some of whom have already experienced this very issue, often at the great personal expense of time and financial resources.  The only recourse for those who do not receive their documents has been to re-apply and pay all of the application fees an additional time – a process Woodall has seen firsthand to cause hardship on individuals and their families through no fault of their own.

“Good public policy can always be traced back to good public service, and that’s certainly true of this bill,” said Rep. Woodall.  “On many occasions I’ve worked with constituents in my district who have directly experienced the personal and financial damage that occurs when their requested USCIS documents do not arrive.  I’m always happy to help constituents recover these vital documents on a case-by-case basis, but H.R. 2595 addresses the underlying problem by offering applicants a mechanism that prevents them from being lost in the first place.” 

In a showing of the bipartisanship Woodall says exists far more frequently than many realize, the common ground measure is rooted in constituent service and national security.

“I was proud to partner with Rep. Speier in this effort last Congress – where it was passed unanimously by the House – and I welcome the opportunity to work with our colleagues in both Chambers and on each side of the aisle to move it to the President’s desk this Congress.  I’m grateful to Senator Perdue for his leadership in the Senate on this same issue,” Woodall continued.

“I am proud to be a joint author, along with Congressman Woodall and our Senate counterparts, of the Secure Mail Initiative Act. This bipartisan and bicameral legislation will ensure that immigration documents safely reach their intended destination, saving the recipients from suffering massive financial burdens and keeping sensitive documents from the hands of terrorists or human traffickers,” Rep. Speier said.                                     

Given its unanimous approval by the House last Congress, the bill is expected to garner the same kind of bipartisan support moving forward.

“When sensitive immigration documents such as green cards, travel papers, and employment authorizations wind up in the wrong hands the consequences for families can be dire,” said Senator Perdue. “These situations are easily avoidable with simple safety measures like signature confirmation or in-person pick up options. By making these options available within the Secure Mail Initiative, DHS and USPS will be able to provide peace of mind and more effective service to customers.”

Congressman Woodall represents the Seventh Congressional District of Georgia, which includes the majority of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties, and currently serves as Chairman of the Rules Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process, as well as serving on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, and Budget Committee. 

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