An important part of securing our nation is securing our borders.  Illegal immigration is just that — illegal – and it should be treated as such.  Federal law provides the authority to address the illegal population within our borders, but these laws have not been enforced properly.  Better enforcement of our laws is the first step and the Administration is working on that.
I oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants. Congress should continue to examine our immigration policy and determine what legislation is needed and in what areas.

I have cosponsored a bill to prevent separating children from their parents. The government has a responsibility to enforce its laws, and the people who want to come to this country need to follow them. We can ensure our immigration laws are compassionate along with being fair to American citizens.

Immigration reform is best dealt with in small pieces, instead of comprehensive legislation, a strategy that has failed in the past.

Below are my principles on how the Senate can address immigration reform.  This six-step proposal reflects ideas and concepts from a host of proposals already discussed.  We could enact any one of these sensible proposals today and produce results tomorrow.

 1.    Border Enforcement 

·         Ensure sufficient authorization of funding for hiring and training border patrol agents.

·         Increase oversight of current border enforcement laws (border fence construction and virtual fence implementation). 

 2.    Interior Enforcement

·         Provide clarification of the authority for local law enforcement to assist in the detention of illegal immigrants and clarify reimbursement authority of federal agencies.

·         Remove loopholes for sanctuary cities which avoid and ignore enforcement of federal immigration laws.

·         Increase enforcement against companies that knowingly and willingly hire illegal workers.

 3.    Streamline Temporary Guest Worker Programs  

·         Require the State Department to implement uniform procedures at all consular offices for processing temporary workers.

·         Reduce the amount of paperwork in the application process and streamline the process by which the validity of the employer’s petition for temporary foreign workers is determined.

·         Raise the congressionally mandated cap on certain visas to reasonable levels and provide DHS the authority to raise or lower caps based on market needs and usage.  

 4.    Increase Usage of the Employer Verification System (E-Verify) 

·         Extend authorization of E-Verify.

·         Require all contractors of the federal government to use the E-verify program.

·         Give employers the option to verify the status of all employees, not just new hires.

·         Require U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to provide monthly reports to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) listing the data E-Verify finds that should be investigated.

·         Require USCIS to create a pilot program that will provide opportunities for small businesses and other rural areas without Internet access to use the E-Verify program. 

 5.    National Language 

·         Declare English as the National Language of the United States.

·         Repeal Executive Order 13166, which requires federal agencies to examine the services they provide and develop and implement a system to provide those services in languages other than English for those with limited English proficiency (LEP). 

 6.    Create a Merit-Based Permanent Alien Program

Canada’s point system provides that approximately 60 percent of the aliens awarded permanent resident gain that status based on their skills and their benefit to Canada’s economy.  Canada allows approximately 40 percent of permanent resident grants be based on family relations or refugee status.  In contrast, U.S. law allows about 70 percent of its annual 1 million permanent resident admissions to be based solely on family relations and about 13 percent to be based on employment needs (with the rest going to refuges and diversity visas).

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