A Nation Built by Legal Immigrants
Concerns continue to grow as activists take to the streets around our nation demanding amnesty for the over 12 million illegal aliens currently living in the United States. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley recently lamented to a crowd of immigration reform activists that "this skyline was built by immigrants." One word the mayor omitted from his statement was legal,' an important distinction that makes a world of difference in the immigration debate.
I agree with Mayor Daley that we are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws. Nearly 3,000 illegal aliens are apprehended attempting to cross our border on a daily basis. Even more frightening is that this figure does not include those who have successfully crossed over or those using false documents. Our nation is still vulnerable at the border.
Currently, employers do not have a surefire program to check the legal status of their employees. In Congress, I am committed to supporting such a program to ensure that the employer can accurately and quickly verify the immigration status of a prospective worker.
It is important that we secure our porous border and help employers verify employees' immigration status before moving forward with any immigration reform. In politics, some try to throw a Hail Mary pass' to fix difficult problems all at once. We did not get into this problem overnight, and we are not going to get out of it overnight.