Immigration Reform in
September 11, 2006
With the November elections looming, politics is taking priority over sensible policy. It appears congressional leaders have no intention of addressing the issue of illegal immigration this year, preferring not to tackle such a thorny problem for fear of angering voters one way or another.
this is a mistake. The American
people want something done about illegal immigration now-- not next year.
All sides in the immigration debate agree that the current, ďDonít
ask, donít tell,Ē policy cannot continue.
Thatís why I am joining several of my colleagues in demanding that the
Senate vote this month on a border security bill already passed by the House
earlier this year. I truly believe border security is the most important issue
for millions of Americans.
the Bush administration and congressional leadership have promised to spend the
next two months addressing national security issues.
But real national security cannot be achieved unless and until our
borders are physically secured. Itís
as simple as that. All the talk
about fighting terror and making America safer is meaningless without border
security. It makes no sense to seek
terrorists abroad if our own front door is left unlocked.
the border security bill already passed by the House is a good start, Congress
needs to pass broader legislation this year based on the following simple
physically secure our borders and coastlines. We
must have control over who enters our country before we even begin to consider
complicated immigration reform proposals.
enforce visa rules on those already in the country. Immigration
officials must track visa holders and deport individuals who overstay their
visas or otherwise violate U.S. law.
This is especially important when we recall that some of the 9/11
terrorists had expired visas.
Third, reject amnesty. If we reward lawbreakers who enter this country illegally with citizenship, then any new laws Congress might pass likewise can be ignored. Reform must begin with a new mentality that immigration laws will be enforced.
end welfare-state incentives for illegals.
Americans are quick to welcome immigrants who simply wish to work hard
and make a better life for themselves.
But taxpayers cannot continue to pay when illegal immigrants use
hospitals, clinics, schools, roads, and social services.
end birthright citizenship.
As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be
citizens, the perverse incentive to sneak into this country remains strong.
Citizenship involves more than the mere location of oneís birth.
completely overhaul the legal immigration process.
The current system is incoherent and unfair.
Legal immigrants from all countries should face the same rules and
If we keep these points in mind, immigration reform does not need to be complicated or expensive. It does, however, need to happen this year.