Illegal immigration remains one of the most pressing domestic issues facing the United States today. It carries strong national security considerations as well.
I have been a leader on illegal immigration since my early days in Congress. In 1995, I chaired the Congressional Task Force on Immigration Reform. We published a 200-plus page report with more than 80 specific recommendations. Most of those recommendations became law the following year.
My efforts earned me recognition in 2006 as one of the Top Ten Illegal Immigration Hawks in Congress by Human Events magazine and induction into the U.S. Border Control Hall of Fame.
In January 2011, I was named Chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement, where I am focused on the removal of illegal immigrants from the workforce and protecting American jobs for those with a legal right to work in the United States.
We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws. Most of my district casework concerns helping legal immigrants. Like our ancestors, immigrants who come here legally want to be American citizens, with all the responsibilities that go with it. It is unfair to those who put in the time and effort to immigrate here legally to allow illegal immigrants to break in through the back door.
The answer to illegal immigration is fairly simple. First, we must enforce our laws and secure the border. Second, we must remove the magnets that encourage illegal immigration. Finally, we must remove the benefits that make it easy for them to stay.