UPDATE FROM WASHINGTON: Immigration: Let's Start by Enforcing our Laws
There's a lot of buzz at home in Montana and here in Washington about immigration reform. Recently, I voted against moving forward with a major immigration reform bill, and I want to explain my reasons.
First, the proposed immigration reform bill isn't fair to Montana taxpayers. It shortchanges a lot of folks who play by the rules. I have said for a long time I do not support amnesty for illegal immigrants.
Second, the bill (which is several hundred pages long) adds more confusing laws to a system that the government hasn't enforced very well anyway. If we can't enforce the laws already on our books, then the laws aren't worth the paper they're written on. We don't need more laws. We need to enforce the laws we already have.
In a nutshell, this immigration reform bill would allow millions of people who are currently breaking the law to stay, as long as they fill out some paperwork and pay a fine. There are other holes in the bill too. But any measure that gives millions of lawbreakers a free pass doesn't sit well with me.
Here's what I'm looking for in immigration reform: I want immigration reform that prioritizes tougher security at our ports and borders to keep out terrorism, illegal drugs and illegal immigrants.
I support reform that cracks down on employers who hire illegal immigrants and rewards hard-working folks for following the rules.
There's no doubt that our country's current immigration system needs fixing. Right now there are millions of folks living in the shadows. That's why when we reform our immigration policy we must be fair.
We can reform the way we approach immigration in a way that won't hurt American businesses and workers. We can do it with compassion, with regard for families and children. We can do it by being smarter about the laws that already exist.
I'm interested in hearing your thoughts about immigration reform. Feel free to sound off by calling toll-free in Montana 866-554-4403.
I look forward to hearing from you,