Goodlatte Unveils Border Security, Immigration Reform Alternative to Senate Amnesty Plan
At a press conference today, Congressman Bob Goodlatte joined Congressmen Lamar Smith, Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee and Peter King, Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Committee in unveiling a comprehensive border security and immigration reform bill which is a strong alternative to the Senate amnesty bill that was recently introduced by Senator Ted Kennedy.
"Unfortunately, the compromise legislation that was recently proposed by Senator Ted Kennedy will do nothing to curb illegal immigration," said Goodlatte. "In fact, it will have the opposite effect. The Senate immigration bill actually rewards illegal immigrants who have consistently broken our laws by giving them amnesty."
Congressmen Goodlatte, Smith and King joined together today to announce the introduction of the Secure Borders FIRST (For Integrity, Reform, Safety and anti-Terrorism) Act which will help secure our borders, crack down on illegal immigration, ensure that we detain and deport dangerous criminal illegal aliens, such as gang members and make English our country's official language. In addition, it will help to eliminate the jobs magnet that encourages illegal immigration into the country by making the employment verification system mandatory for employers.
The Secure Borders FIRST Act takes the necessary steps to secure our border by establishing a firm timeline for the Department of Homeland Security to achieve control of the border, authorizing additional border security personnel, requiring mandatory detention for all illegal immigrants apprehended along the border, ensuring there will be no return to the so-called "Catch and Release" practice and requiring expedited removal for any illegal aliens apprehended within 100 miles of the border and two weeks of entry.
The Secure Borders FIRST Act also incorporates additional measures to make certain our communities are safe from terrorists, criminal aliens, and gangs and enhances security of critical identification documents by improving the security of birth certificates, mandating the deportation of aliens who are convicted of three DUIs, allowing for the detention of dangerous aliens who cannot be repatriated, and increasing support for state and local law enforcement by authorizing funding for grants and training, and reaffirming the authority of state and local authorities to voluntarily apprehend and detain illegal aliens.
Finally, the Secure Borders FIRST Act adds strong worksite enforcement provisions and reforms the current H-2A agricultural temporary worker program to provide economic stability for our farmers. The legislation denies certain tax deductions to employers that hire illegal aliens and eliminates a loophole in current law that allows illegal aliens to receive Social Security benefits from their illegal work, if they are later legalized.
"Completely closing our borders to legal immigrants who seek to experience the American dream or who are needed in this country is not the answer," said Goodlatte. "However, we need to aggressively crack down on illegal immigration. Now is the time to do so and to ensure that security within our borders is the highest priority. The common sense approach to immigration reform we have unveiled today is the only proposal on the table which will secure our borders, crack down on illegal immigration and not provide amnesty to millions of illegal aliens already in the U.S."