Today, it is estimated that over 11 million illegal immigrants are living in the United States with hundreds of thousands more crossing our borders each year. We need to fix this broken system.
It is imperative that we begin our efforts to stop illegal immigration by securing our nation's borders. That is why I traveled to the border to assess the problem firsthand. I also voted for over 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents and for the technology and equipment necessary for these agents to prevent people from entering our country illegally.
As we know, border enforcement alone will not solve the problem. Even though it is illegal to knowingly hire workers without documentation, there is an incentive to hire cheap labor with lax enforcement of employment laws. That is why I support legislation to give businesses the tools they need to easily identify whether or not workers have legal status and to increase the penalties for businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants.
I oppose any proposal that amounts to amnesty or rewards illegal behavior. Our country has a rich tradition built upon the hard work of immigrant citizens from all over the world, and we welcome legal immigration. Out of respect for our laws and those who have followed them, I will continue to work hard to ensure that American citizenship is reserved for those who play by the rules.