As a citizen, I am deeply concerned about the safety and security of our nation. I believe illegal immigration poses a dire national security crisis of the highest order and a long-term threat to the American way of life. Mr. President, to win the war on terror, it is essential that the border fence—the one authorized by Congress and promised to the American people--be built in its entirety. All illegal aliens apprehended at the border or internally should be sentenced to serve a minimum of 6 months working on the border fence to help reduce its cost. I am also urging you and the Congress to responsibly address what has become an illegal alien crisis by considering the following other key issues as well:
#1 -- Secure our borders. As first priority, America must stop the hemorrhaging at the border and stop the flow of illegal aliens by investing all the resources necessary to secure our borders. However, improvements in border infrastructure and staffing must be buttressed with vigorous internal enforcement. Mandatory E-verification across the board for all employers, public and private, and all employees, current and new hires, is an essential element of internal enforcement. No more foot-dragging on E-Verification; implement it now! Also, existing immigration laws must be enforced as a vital component of our Homeland Security.
#2 -- No Amnesty. I oppose any form of amnesty for illegal aliens, including the “temporary worker” proposal or any proposals that grant legal residency status or a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens. Rewarding illegal behavior is certain to increase that behavior. Amnesty, with or without conditions, is a bad idea and sends the wrong message. Amnesty was granted to 1.3 million illegal aliens in 1986. Now we have 12 million, a compound rate of growth of 9.7% per year. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to calculate where that rate will lead in the future if it is allowed to continue or is promoted with yet another amnesty.
1. Build The Fence. As a first priority, America must stop the flow of illegal aliens by investing all of the resources necessary to secure our borders. The 843 miles of double-layered fencing authorized by Congress and promised to the American people has not been built. Yet such a barrier is truly the backbone of any plan to gain control of our border and the illegal aliens threatening our land.
2. Aggressive deportation. Immediate investment in aggressive effort to deport the 12million illegal immigrants currently within our borders – if you’re caught, you are sent back after serving 6 months working on border infrastructure, 2 years if you are a repeat offender. There must not be any official provision to allow self-deportation; if an illegal alien wishes to return to his homeland on his own, his departure must still be classified as "involuntary" so that if he returns he will be classified as a repeat offender/felon. Otherwise, many will ask to be released from detention so they can return home under their own power but they could easily be back the same day if they leave at all. If they are apprehended again, it will be just as if they were not repeat offenders if we allow "voluntary" self-deportation.
3. No benefits. Erect a wall of separation between illegal aliens (and their children) and tax-dollar paid benefits reserved for U.S. citizens and legal aliens. I support The Real I.D. Act (H.R. 418) that prohibits illegal aliens from being issued drivers licenses and prevents terrorists from abusing the asylum laws of the United States. Benefits for birthright citizen children is a huge inducement for border violations. The amount large families of such children can receive represents a cornucopeia of benefits unheard of in Latin America.
4. No work. Stricter punishment of U.S. businesses that knowingly or unknowingly employ illegal aliens. Mandatory E-verification will eliminate any excuse for hiring illegal aliens with false identity papers. Congress needs to establish a national database of legal immigrants to assist both public and private sectors in this effort. The same system should include a provision for the tracking of visa overstays so that they can be promptly apprehended and deported without recourse.
5. Official English. Legislation that establishes English as the Official Language of the United States to be used for all governmental proceedings, publications, and documents at all levels of government. E.O. 13166 must be repealed. Public Interpreters should be provided to those who cannot afford one and who do not have a family member who can serve that function. All other interpreters and translators may be made available but only on a billable basis in hospitals, emergency rooms, police stations and other public facilities. Public and private sectors cannot be required to provide services in alternative languages. True fluency in English must be required for citizenship not just the knowledge of a few words and phrases.
6. No Birthright Citizenship. Illegals flood into the U.S. and then have babies which are granted birthright citizenship. In the U.S., one of the strongest incentives for border violations is the 14th amendment which grants citizenship to anyone who is born in this country. It is difficult to imagine a more irrational and self-defeating legal system than one which makes unauthorized entry into this country a criminal offense and simultaneously provides perhaps the greatest possible inducement to illegal entry. The implementing law for the 14th Amendment must be changed to eliminate this inducement for border violations.
The inducements for border violations include: birthright citizenship, welfare benefits for the families of birthright citizens, inadequate border security and internal enforcement, the lack of adequate sanctions for illegals and their employers, and the availability of jobs. If we deal with all of these effectively, border violations will become unattrative.