Illegal immigration is a serious problem in the United States, and the number of illegal immigrants is rapidly increasing each year. The unlawful entry of these individuals into the U.S. not only puts severe strain on state and local budgets, but also limits the ability of federal programs designed to support American citizens. Additionally, I have serious concerns with the potential for employers to hire illegal immigrants to do jobs that American citizens could be doing. I am working to stem the flow of illegal immigration, and I will not support an amnesty policy to address this issue.
Our nation's border security is a key issue when addressing both our economic and national security interests. I feel 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.
Traditional methods of protecting our borders must evolve, using new technologies and more aggressive border patrol practices. We must ensure that our efforts include both the northern and southern border, as well as our points of entry.
Undocumented workers who commit crimes in the United States need to be punished and returned to their home nations. The 287(g) 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 287(g) 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.
We must apply 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.
I support making the "E-Verify" system mandatory for all employers, and am working 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 ignored or broken.
I am working on reforms that strengthen our security and ensure that those who follow our nation's immigration laws are not disadvantaged for doing so. Congress should consider immigration legislation that secures our borders and is fair. Just as importantly, an immigration overhaul should ensure that those who wish to come to America and thrive in our land of opportunity do so legally and orderly.
Updated July 26, 2011