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Issue Position: The Right Plan for Immigration

Issue Position

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Date:
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Becoming a citizen of the United States of America is earned and means something special. We are the envy of the world and it is no wonder why. We are the nation that empowers the individual with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We are also a nation of laws, guided by a Constitution, to ensure those rights.

The Constitution gives Congress the responsibility "to establish a uniform rule of naturalization." We have a duty and responsibility to the legal citizens to set the terms of entry and exit. Currently, we are being unfairly asked to subsidize and tolerate a mass of illegal people flooding our country. This is a failure of Congress and an unprecedented unfunded mandate upon the states.

An Immoral Position

The status-quo is in many ways immoral. Current government policy, including the lack of political will to enforce the existing laws, unfairly exploits people who were enticed, encouraged, and incentivized to come to the United States of America illegally. As a country, we have given millions of illegal aliens access to jobs and taxpayer-supported entitlements including health care and education. It is morally wrong to tacitly approve breaking our laws. This must be fixed.

Most illegal aliens are good, hard working, decent people who have made a significant contribution to our country and our economy, but it often comes at an incalculable expense of other resources and jobs. We can accept that people are often simply trying to improve their lives for themselves and their families, but we should reject exploitation and return to the rule of law.

What To Do

Our first priority should be to legal citizens, and then we should prioritize those who want to come here legally. Our current system is failing by giving those with closest proximity and a willingness to break our laws favor over those who are willing to enter the country legally.

It is time to do right. Everyone will benefit. It is for this reason we must elect political leaders willing to solve this difficult issue.

As your Congressman, I will vote based on these principles:

FIX LEGAL IMMIGRATION

REJECT AMNESTY

LOCK DOWN THE BORDER, ENFORCE VISAS

HAVE THE POLITICAL WILL TO ENFORCE THE CURRENT LAWS

GET RID OF REWARDS & INCENTIVES TO BE HERE ILLEGALLY

GIVE BUSINESS THE TOOLS & ALIGN FINANCIAL INCENTIVES

INSIST ON ASSIMILATION

--Jason Chaffetz

FIX LEGAL IMMIGRATION

There are millions of people from around the world who seek to legally become a citizen of the United States of America. Unfortunately, the system is failing. Last year the Wall Street Journal stated the current green-card backlog includes applicants who face a 22-year wait time. This doesn't work for anybody. We need to implement the leadership necessary to fix this problem and appropriate the money needed to thoroughly process applicants in a timely manner. Until legal immigration works, we will continue to have major problems.

REJECT AMNESTY

Restitution is something most of us learned by third grade. If you take a candy bar that is not yours, you need to give it back. Take money that is not yours, you need to return it. Cut in line, you go to the back of the line. I still believe what I learned in third grade.

I will not support or vote for amnesty in any way, shape or form. If you are here illegally, there is no pathway to citizenship except to apply from your country of origin.

LOCK DOWN BORDER, ENFORCE VISAS

Our porous borders open the way for illegal entry, drug trafficking and terrorism. We must appropriate the funding for physical barriers and technology to lock down the border. By some estimates, 40% of the people coming to the United States on a non-immigrant visa fail to depart as directed. This is unacceptable. Further, we should not issue visas, including student visas, for those coming from terrorist nations.

HAVE THE POLITICAL WILL TO ENFORCE THE CURRENT LAWS

The existing laws are not being enforced. As your Congressman, I will insist the law is enforced.

* Homeland Security believes we have 623,292 "fugitive aliens" who did not obey orders to leave the country. --Cases as of Aug. 2006, AP, March 27, 2007

*The Homeland Security Department Inspector General said, "Backlog fugitive alien cases have increased each fiscal year since program was started in Feb 2002" because of too little bed space, poor staffing and an inaccurate database.

As your Congressman, I will fight to solve these problems.

We need to expand federal prisons for those non-American citizens breaking the laws of the USA. Like the Western Governor's Association, I, too, encourage the construction of western regional federal prisons to house criminal aliens who have been apprehended and convicted in state criminal justice systems. The federal government failed to carry out its constitutional responsibility to protect the borders and the resulting financial burden of detaining these criminals should not fall on the shoulders of the states.

GET RID OF REWARDS & INCENTIVES TO BE HERE ILLEGALLY

We exacerbate the situation by offering rewards and incentives, such as free health care, free education and driver's licenses to those here illegally. Eliminate these incentives and we will help solve the problem.

*Illegal aliens should not get preferential treatment over United States citizens.

* Illegal immigration should be a felony aggravating factor.

* "According to 2006 audit by the Social Security inspector general, 17 of the 100 worst employers using employees with non-work numbers were government agencies. That means the government knows who those employees are, but usually does not go after them." Deseret Morning News, 8/26/07. This is unacceptable.

* Birth in the USA should not automatically make you a citizen. I support legislation and/or a constitutional amendment eliminating the automatic granting of citizenship to those born in the United States of America. At least one parent should be a legal citizen to trigger birthright citizenship.

GIVE BUSINESS THE TOOLS & ALIGN FINANCIAL INCENTIVES

Most businesses operate legally and want to do the right thing. But for those that do not, we must impose stiffer fines and criminal penalties.

Once it has improved, employers should be required to validate social security numbers and employee names with E-Verify. Coupled with tough enforcement, this will help improve the current situation. Employers who knowingly hire illegals should be punished. They are breaking the laws of the nation.

For those entering our country on a non-immigrant visa (NIV), we should explore aligning financial incentives through employers and educational institutions to ensure timely departures. Financial bonding as an incentive to depart the country as planned will help motivate those tempted to stay beyond what was originally agreed upon. This must be backed up with severe economic penalties.

After the 9/11 terrorist attack, the FBI sought to interview 4,112 people in the United States on NIVs. Over half of those people could not be located because they no longer resided at the address they had registered with the government. If you are here on a NIV, you must be registered. If not, you should be considered in violation of the law with severe penalties, possible incarceration and deportation.

INSIST ON ASSIMILATION

By becoming a citizen of the United States of America, you are pledging allegiance to our country and our flag. In essence, you are abandoning your previous allegiances in favor of your commitment to the U.S.A. We celebrate diversity and vast fabric of culture in this country, but we are bound together in our loyalty to the goodness of the United States of America.

* English should be the official language of the United States of America. Taxpayers should not pay additional money for translation and printing in other languages. Click here to see Jason's pledge on May 19, 2008 to support English as the official language of the United States.

* Proof of citizenship to vote.

What should we do with those currently here illegally?

For those here illegally, the ONLY pathway to U.S. citizenship is to go home to their country of origin and apply from there. Period.

We must have the political will, including funding, to enforce the law. No amnesty.

In addition to the natural attrition that will occur as we implement the previously mentioned policies, we need a pathway to deportation. To facilitate this pathway to deportation, we should allow current illegal aliens to come forward and apply for a short term work visa if done in conjunction with a sponsoring legal business. The visa will be for a specified time. At the conclusion of the visa, the illegal alien must return to their country of origin, or face serious criminal consequences.

This should be a limited time offer and any adult person identified without this application in process should be detained and deported. This will allow us to identify illegal aliens and uniformly return illegal aliens to their country of origin while allowing a legal workforce, with proper documentation and background checks, to enter the country in a uniform fashion.

Consider this:

Roughly 10% of Mexico's 107 million population now lives in the USA.

15% of the labor force is in the USA.

One in every seven Mexican workers comes to the USA.

¾ of the illegal aliens come from Mexico and Central America.

--San Francisco Chronicle, 5/21/06

"Never before in the history of the earth has a country ever been able to survive that didn't protect its borders." --Shepherd Smith, Fox News, 11/06

"We have failed grossly. We have failed overwhelming. You have every right to be irritated and angry."

--Rep. Chris Cannon addressing Congress' immigration failures to the Utah State Legislature, 1/25/07

"We love immigrants in Utah. And we don't make the distinction very often between legal and illegal. In fact, I think Utah was the first state in the country to legislate the ability to get a driver's license base on the matricula consular and of that I'm proud." Cannon also said, "I hope we can enrich Mexico by having people come from Mexico to America and then return."

--Rep. Chris Cannon accepting the Excellence in Leadership Award from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF). 6/6/02


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