Our nation's border security is a key issue when addressing both our economic and national security interests. Dr. Heck feels strongly that a comprehensive border security plan is paramount to rebuilding our nation's economy as well as protecting our nation's security.
The lack of secure borders doesn't simply allow illegal immigration to flourish; the federal government's failure allows drugs, guns, terrorists or any number of dangerous entities to enter our nation undetected.
For too long Washington DC bureaucrats have paid only lip service to securing our borders and ports of entry and this failure puts our safety and economy at risk. With these growing threats comes the need for enhanced measures--traditional methods of protecting our borders must evolve, using new technologies and more aggressive border patrol practices. Along with increasing our border security, we must enact tougher drug trafficking laws, and give local law enforcement agencies the ability to enforce the laws that currently exist.
Those undocumented workers who commit crimes in the United States need to be punished and returned to their home nations but we need secure borders to keep them from simply returning to the United States and picking up their criminal activity where they left off. The 287g program allowing local law enforcement to determine what criminals are here illegally is a step in the right direction. Clark County law enforcement's enrollment in the 287g program with the federal government is encouraging and we need to expand such coordinated efforts throughout the country to help take the financial and structural burden off local governments. After all, the increased costs carried by state and local governments for services, law enforcement, and healthcare for those in this nation illegally are a result of the federal government not doing its job in the first place. Washington DC's failure to secure our borders has forced Clark County to pay the price and we cannot allow Congress to continue to ignore this problem while leaving others to deal with the costs back home.
We cannot ignore the fact that currently there is an estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants already within our borders. Dr. Heck believes that the answer to addressing those who are already here is to take away the incentives that encouraged people to cross our borders illegally in the first place. We must enforce the laws that are currently on the books to ensure employers do not continue to hire those who enter our country illegally without fear of penalty.
Dr. Heck would advocate for making the "E-Verify" system mandatory for all employers, and would work to enact tougher federal penalties for corporations that knowingly hire individuals without determining the eligibility of that employee to legally work in the United States. With unemployment at historic levels it is unacceptable for the government to allow employment laws to be flouted or broken.
Part of this solution also requires fixing and streamlining our nation's bureaucracy to manage the legal immigration infrastructure. For too long the federal government has failed in this area as well. It should not take years or decades for a law-abiding, eligible individual to come to our nation legally. The failure of Washington DC to take meaningful measures to secure our borders, enforce our laws, and operate efficiently in processing, managing and tracking those who enter legally is unacceptable and must be changed.
"Our economic stability and our nation's security are dependent on enacting border security measures that take away the incentives that people have to crossing the border illegally," Dr. Heck said. "We must create new policies that force companies to take immigration laws seriously," Heck continued. "Protecting our nation's northern and southern boarders, along with our ports of entry, must be a top priority in any comprehensive plan to protect our country from foreign threats."