The U.S. immigration system is broken. There are an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants currently residing in the U.S. It is vital that Congress take action to secure our borders and stop illegal immigration. The status quo is unacceptable and I share many of your frustrations with this issue.
First, I am wholeheartedly against amnesty. I believe it is inherently unfair to give legal status to those whose first actions were to break our laws. Below are some of the initiatives I support to deter illegal immigration, increase interior enforcement and keep our border secure:
The Secure Fence Act (Public Law 109-367). Mandated the Department of Homeland Security to build 700 miles of fence on the southern border.
The Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 2164). Makes employment verification mandatory for all employers in the U.S.
The SAVE Act (H.R. 2000). Fortifies border protection, requires mandatory employment verification, and increases interior enforcement.
Citizenship Reform (H.R. 140). Denies citizenship to an individual born in the U.S. if both parents are illegal immigrants or do not reside in the U.S legally.
Unlawful Border Entry Prevention Act (H.R. 1091). Provides for additional double-layer fencing along the southern border.
English Only (H.R. 997). Declares English the official language of the United States.
The Nuclear Family Priority Act (H.R. 692). Ends chain migration.
The Clear Act (H.R. 100). Provides that local law enforcement have the authority to investigate, apprehend and transfer illegal immigrants to federal officials for deportation.
Secure the Capitol Act (H.R. 280). Requires all companies competing for or currently holding a government contract for work within the Capitol Complex to utilize E-Verify.
No Social Security for Illegal Immigrants (H.R. 787). Prohibits illegal immigrants from collecting Social Security from illegal work.
No government-funded health benefits for illegal immigrants (H.R. 1822). Requires individuals to show proof of U.S. citizenship or legal status to participate in new health care law.
I am a member of the Reclaim American Jobs Congressional Caucus and the Immigration Reform Caucus.
You may also be interested to know that in 1996 I created the E-Verify program, the only tool available for employers to voluntarily check the legal work status of newly hired employees. I have worked steadily over the years to expand E-Verify and make it mandatory. With Republicans in control of the House this Congress, it may be our best chance to finally make E-Verify mandatory for all employers in the U.S. That is why, along with Chairman of the Judiciary Committee Lamar Smith (R-TX) and others, I have carefully crafted and introduced the "Legal Workforce Act," (H.R. 2885) which would make E-Verify mandatory. On June 15, 2011, I testified in support of the bill before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement.