COBLE STATEMENT ON SENATE IMMIGRATION PROPOSAL
One of the most significant issues facing the 110th Congress is immigration reform. I have long stated that we must secure our borders because, until we do that, we will never fully solve our immigration crisis. The Senate has begun debate on the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 (S. 1348). In my view, S. 1348 falls short of establishing strong border security and workable enforcement mechanisms as the first order of business before any other programs would be adopted.
I am opposed to amnesty, but I remain mindful that industries, whether large or small, must have a seasonal and nonseasonal workforce that American labor is not filling. In addition, highly skilled business sectors are struggling to find qualified scientists, engineers, researchers, nurses, and educators to meet the needs of our society. While we may decide to accommodate these needs because they help improve our lives and the lives of our children, we simply cannot afford to offer permanent legal status to people who are here illegally. We cannot reward those who entered our country illegally by giving them a head start above those who are playing by the rules and trying to become American citizens through proper and legal channels.
I remain hopeful that my colleagues who have direct involvement in drafting reform legislation will come forward with workable solutions on what I consider the most important domestic issue facing this Congress. If S. 1348 arrives in the House in its current form, I would have to vote against it.