Immigration: Protecting America's Borders
Immigration reform is a serious matter. America is a nation of immigrants, and we benefit tremendously when people legally immigrate to our country. Unfortunately, throughout the past decade, millions of people have chosen to disregard our immigration laws and illegally enter our country or overstay their visas.
The Obama Administration has failed to successfully protect our borders over the last several years. In 2010, the United States Justice Department waged “Fast and Furious” as an effort to crack down on the illegal sale of weapons to Mexican drug cartels. However, due to this failed operation, Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was murdered in December 2010 by a gang of Mexican gun cartels that were armed with weapons obtained by the Justice Department after they lost track of hundreds of weapons. Not only does this lack of leadership send a message to illegals immigrants that we will not enforce our laws, it also creates apprehension that our government is not effectively protecting our national security.
Until the appropriate laws already on the books are strongly enforced, illegal immigrants will continue to pour across our borders and weaken our national security. Once our laws are enforced, our nation will create a new generation of dedicated, patriotic American citizens. Legal immigrants have obeyed our regulations, and America must demonstrate our commitment to these hard-working individuals by ensuring those who follow our laws are treated courteously by immigration officials and their immigration applications are processed in a timely fashion.
Here are some initiatives I have supported and will continue to advocate:
· “Illegal Immigration Enforcement and Social Security Protection Act” would enforce restrictions on employment in the United States for unauthorized aliens through the use of improved Social Security cards and an Employment Eligibility Database;
· “Photo Identification Security Act,” would require the Federal Government and financial institutions to solely accept secure forms of identification;
· “SAVE (Secure America Through Verification and Enforcement) Act” would provide for additional border patrol agents, expand the E-verify program and make it mandatory for employers, and reduce illegal immigration through interior enforcement.
We must ensure we have an English-speaking, legal workforce that pays their taxes, grows our economy, and benefits our nation. However, I believe that it should be Congress’ priority to secure our borders. Please be assured that I will continue to work with my colleagues to strengthen border security and protect America’s legal workforce.