Today Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) issued the following statement in response to President Obama's speech on comprehensive immigration reform:
"Once again the President made the call for amnesty against the will of the American people and in the face of violence on the border. The President and I agree that our country is a land of immigrants -- legal immigrants. We should not blur the lines between legal and illegal immigrants. Millions of people around the world have gone through the process to come here legally and they followed the rules that required them to pay a fee, learn English, and learn about American history and government. I'm sure they would have gladly paid more money to obtain immediate legal status, and all the opportunities it affords, rather than wait years in their own country. It is an affront to everyone who has come here legally, and is currently waiting in line, to grant amnesty to people whose first action was to break our laws. We should also remember that legal status for the 11 million will then open up a pathway for their dependents to also come to America -- another 25 to 30 million people. California is running a $20 billion deficit because of the strain on public services, education and incarceration -- we simply cannot afford amnesty.
"Furthermore, the American people do not trust that the government will provide border security. Until the government proves it can and will enforce current law and control our borders, there should be no discussion of amnesty. The violence and lawlessness that is taking place in Arizona and parts of Texas is a stark reminder that we do not have control of our borders and Mexican drug cartels continue to operate freely. The federal government's mission is clear: secure the border by building a two-layer fence; deploy the National Guard during this time of crisis on the border; call on Immigration and Customs Enforcement to return to the former policy of criminal investigations, arrests and deportations; and make E-Verify mandatory.
"If the President and Democrats in Congress truly believe amnesty is the right course of action and that they have the support of the American people, I would remind them that their party controls the House, Senate and White House. I would also hope that the President would pledge publicly not to sign an amnesty bill passed during a lame duck session after the November elections, which would essentially allow soon-to-be excongressmen to pass controversial legislation."
Last week, during consideration of the FY2011 Homeland Security Appropriations bill, Rep. Calvert introduced an amendment that would require entities found knowingly hiring illegal immigrants to use E-Verify program. The amendment passed on voice vote. E-Verify is the only tool available that gives employers to ability to check the work status of newly hired employees. The program was created by Rep. Calvert in 1996 and it is free to employers, easy to use and 99.6% accurate.