This morning, Congressman Joe Donnelly discussed his support for the bipartisan SAVE (Secure America with Verification and Enforcement) Act, which would crack down on illegal immigration.
Introduced by Congressman Heath Shuler (D-NC), the SAVE Act offers a three-part plan to drastically reduce illegal immigration by securing our borders, requiring employer verification of perspective employees' legal status, and bolstering resources needed for enforcement of our immigration laws. Donnelly is a co-sponsor of this legislation.
"Our immigration system is broken. Under the current administration, our immigration policy has failed to prevent the influx of illegal immigrants and to sufficiently enforce the law," said Donnelly. "I am committed to supporting a solution to the immigration problem. I believe the SAVE Act is an important first step."
Specifically, the SAVE Act calls for the hiring of an additional 8,000 new Border Patrol Agent to make sure our borders are secure. In addition, the legislation also provides the tools and resources necessary to recruit and retain these agents, as well as the technology and equipment they need to protect our border effectively.
"Secure borders are fundamental to our national security and a critical component of a sound immigration policy. The SAVE Act would ensure that we are not understaffing our borders, and that Border Patrol Agents are equipped with the proper training and technology to do their jobs effectively," said Donnelly.
The SAVE Act would also require that the E-Verify program be used by all employers within four years to ensure that their employees are here legally. The program would begin with the federal government, federal contractors, and employers with 250 employees or more. Smaller businesses would be phased in over a four-year period.
"Until we crack down on businesses that employ illegal workers, the number of illegal immigrants in this country will continue to grow," said Donnelly.
Finally, this act would increase the enforcement capacity of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, by employing more agents and training additional state and local law enforcement personnel. The legislation would also expedite the removal of illegal immigrants by expanding detention capacity and increasing the number of Federal District Court judges.
"Illegal immigration has become nothing short of a crisis in this country," said Donnelly. "The SAVE Act offers an immigration policy that strengthens our borders and enforces our employment laws. I will work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get the bill to the floor."