Our country is in urgent need of a new immigration policy. We need common-sense laws that will crack down on illegal immigration and protect our nation from those who wish us harm. In the post-9/11 world, protecting our borders must be a top priority. As we know all too well, not all who cross our borders want to share in the American dream. And if we do not know who is coming into our country, we cannot keep our homeland safe. Border security is first and foremost a matter of national security.
But illegal immigration is also about economic security. While America has always been a welcoming nation, illegal immigration creates an underclass of workers who provide unfair competition with the many hardworking Americans who are struggling just to make ends meet. As a result, undocumented workers have driven down wages, benefits and working conditions for all workers.
Amnesty has been proposed for some or all of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already in the United States. I believe this sends the wrong signal. Immigration reform should reflect a commitment to enforcement, not reward those who break the rules. We can't just give people a pass because it's the easy thing to do. It will weaken our entire immigration system and undermine our ability to enforce the law. Since first elected, Congressman Boren has:
Voted to place more inspectors and canine units at border crossings
Voted to require all employers to check the immigration status of job applicants and stiffen penalties against employers for hiring illegal immigrants
Voted to construct a 700-mile fence along the southern border
Any comprehensive immigration reform must start with the basics. We can't enforce the laws we have - much less new ones - without first knowing who and what is coming across our borders.