Courtney Combs has been relatively quite recently but we know he is out there. Apparently, he was in Sydney, Ohio on Sunday. Is Sydney in the 54th District which he represents? Read on.....
Officials outline immigration issues
By Rachel Lloyd
About 150 area residents gathered at the Sidney Veterans of Foreign Wars building Sunday evening for the Sidney Shelby County Liberty Group's town hall meeting on the subject of immigration, with panel members Lisa Curley and Cheryl L. Gallegos, of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, state Rep. Courtney Combs, R-54th District, and Sidney Police Chief Kevin Gessler.
Curley, community relations officer for District 13, which includes Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, explained that the division for which she works was not the enforcement arm but rather the benefit arm of immigration services. It is one of seven agencies under the Office of Homeland Security, which also includes the enforcement arm, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. She clarified that the seven agencies now operate separately, though they were previously part of the same agency known as Immigration and Naturalization Service.
"The responsibility of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services includes administering immigration benefits and citizenship," Curley said. "We administer or adjudicate approximately 6 (million) to 8 million applications per year."
She explained that the process to enter to the country begins with applying for a visa through the state department. Those who stay longer then seek benefits such as permanent residence, naturalization, travel documents and work authorization.
Curley outlined some of the process of gaining citizenship to the United States through naturalization, including residency requirements, proof of "good moral character," an oath of allegiance, renunciation of all foreign citizenship, the ability to speak, read and write English and civics knowledge.
Combs, introduced as "one of the leading advocates of immigration reform in Ohio," said he is a proponent of immigration, but only when it is done legally.
"But I do have a problem when we have thousands of people coming across the southern border of the United States (illegally)," Combs said.
Combs recounted his visits to Arizona to see the problems of illegal immigration firsthand. He said 1,000 people a day are crossing the border illegally into Cochise County, Ariz., alone each day, and of those, approximately 300 are caught, processed and returned to Mexico.
"They come right back," he said.
He admitted that many do come across the border to escape poverty and work and support their families, even saying if he were in their position, he would do the same.
"Does that make it right?" he asked. "No."
His bigger concern with illegal immigration is the "25 percent" who cross the border for more nefarious purposes, such as smuggling in drugs and contraband, and human trafficking.
"The United States does not control the Mexican border," Combs said. "The Mexican government does not control the Mexican border. The drug dealers control the Mexican border