Securing Our Borders
I have long been a supporter of LEGAL immigration. Part of our nation’s strength is its uniquely varied population and respect for the cultural diversity that has been a prevalent part of our history. After all, very few American families can claim their descendants were not immigrants to this wonderful country.
Regrettably, the noble and productive history of immigration as a part of our nation’s economic and cultural growth is being overshadowed by the political and economic consequences of illegal immigration. As a result, Congress and the American people seem deeply split on how to secure our borders and enforce the law, and illegal entry into our nation is perceived as commonplace and is conducted with little fear of consequences. That has to change, both for the security of our nation and to help restore the dignity and importance of legal immigration in the eyes of all Americans.
This is why I have continuously opposed proposals that would grant amnesty to illegal aliens in the United States. Not only would amnesty undermine our efforts to regulate the borders, but it would send a terrible message to those who have complied with immigration laws and are still awaiting approval. We live in a global community, but that does not mean that we have open borders.
I have been an advocate for reforming our immigration system since I was first elected to Congress. Our current system seems unable to keep terrorists and criminals out of our country. While I have worked with my colleagues to make a number of improvements to our border security over the years, today we still have serious issues with drug and weapons trafficking across the southern border of the United States, leading to crime problems in our own country and instability in Mexico.
There are many efforts under way in Congress to tackle the issue of illegal immigration, including proposals to ensure that employers are hiring a legal workforce and support of the use of English in the workplace. I am a supporter of a number of these efforts. In addition, I have supported legislation which allows law enforcement to do what is necessary to keep harmful weapons, narcotics, and smugglers out of our country and expedites the removal of criminal aliens. If we are really serious about addressing the problems caused by illegal immigration, we must first focus our efforts on those who are committing heinous crimes in our country.
As a member of the House Immigration Reform Caucus, I am also working on legislation that would increase funding to combat illegal immigration, expedite and fund the construction of a fence along our southern border, prohibit access by illegal aliens to social security, and prohibit the government from accepting international identification methods. I believe that these are important ways of combating—and ultimately discouraging—blatant disregard for U.S. immigration laws.
You can be confident that I will continue doing all that is within my power to see that immigration remains at the top of Congress’s priorities until problems are addressed. I welcome your thoughts as we look for better ways to keep the government accountable to this nation’s Constitution and laws.
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