Immigration

Background

Despite the failed policies of the Obama Administration, America is still the shining city on the hill that President Reagan saw.  Our nation still is a place of tremendous opportunities for those who wish to come to America, work hard and obey our laws.

A secure border coupled with enforcement of immigration laws already on the books is necessary for economic security (9.4% Fourth District unemployment; 92 million Americans NOT looking for work), and our national security as well.

 

Operational Control

Establishing and maintaining operational control of our borders is essential, and must be the first step to any effort to reform the nation’s immigration law.  Despite what the Obama administration says, recent news stories of unaccompanied children entering our country illegally are proof that our nation is not in control of its borders.

Only until operational control of the border is established and maintained for a sufficient period should any further reform efforts be undertaken.

 

No Amnesty

Amnesty, including a special “pathway to citizenship,” ignores the rule of law and rewards those who have broken and/or are in violation of the law.  It is also unfair to those from around the world who have followed the rules to enter our country, or are still waiting to do so legally.

This summer has shown how even the discussion of “executive amnesty,” including a special “pathway to citizenship,” makes our immigration crisis worse by encouraging and incentivizing illegal immigration.

 

Future Reforms

Subsequent to establishing and maintaining operational control of the border, Congress should look at any reforms through a careful, step-by-step, process that establishes benchmarks to be met before the next step is taken, encourages lawful immigration, prevents illegal immigration, and does not include amnesty.  This method will address the wide variety of immigration issues better than trying to pass a quick, one-size-fits-all piece of legislation.

The types of reform supported by Nancy Pelosi and President Obama are untenable.  

 

Guest Workers

Any guest worker program should be market-driven, truly temporary and protective of hardworking taxpayers.  Additionally, any guest worker program should require temporary workers to return to their home countries once their visas expire.

 

H-1B Visas

Our country has a history of welcoming the best and brightest high-skilled workers to its shores.  In order to create a situation where American businesses expand their work and create new jobs that result in higher wages, I support raising the cap on H1-B visas for skilled workers—provided we enforce existing immigration law to prevent visa overstays.

 

Section 287(g)

The Obama Administration has all but abandoned the Section 287(g) program authorized by Congress, choosing instead to enforce a top-down, one-size-fits-all policy that focuses only on one type of criminal alien.  Congress should reassert its legislative authority by preserving the ability of state and local law enforcement agencies to use the 287(g) program.

According to the National Sheriffs Association in 2012: “It is critical that local law enforcement maintain and build upon the partnerships with federal law enforcement to ensure that collectively we can promote, protect, and preserve the public safety and homeland security.”

 

Holding the President Accountable

The most important improvement to the immigration crisis in America is Congress ensuring President Obama enforces existing law.  The President has an obligation to faithfully enforce the law—written and passed by previous Congresses and signed by his predecessors.

While other Presidents have sidestepped enforcing immigration law, President Obama has taken things to a whole new level.  It is ultimately the responsibility of Congress to hold him accountable.

 

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