U.S. Congressman John Barrow (GA-12) today introduced legislation, Keeping the Promise of IRCA, H.R. 2124, to dramatically enhance border security and crack down on illegal immigration. Congressman Barrow was joined at a press conference to introduce the legislation by Chris Crane, President of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Council.
"This legislation is a critical first step to any comprehensive immigration reform," said Congressman Barrow. "We can't agree to a policy of amnesty now and border security later -- we've been down that road before. We need to secure the border and secure the jobs before we do anything else. My legislation imposes stringent border security measures before any further reform takes place. And unlike other legislation that's moving forward in the Congress, my bill is based on input from the agents on the ground -- the men and women actually charged with the responsibility of enforcing our immigration laws."
Speaking about the legislation, Chris Crane said, "On behalf of ICE Officers, I applaud Congressman Barrow's efforts to provide for stronger interior enforcement of our nation's immigration laws. We are grateful for a Congressman who recognizes and works with law enforcement."
Chris Crane, on behalf of the National ICE Council, a coalition of approximately 7,600 border officers, agents, and employees, voiced opposition to the Senate immigration bill for not including border security and law enforcement recommendations from agents on the ground.
The foundation of this legislation is stronger enforcement with three key components:
Mandatory E-Verify for all future hires, to secure American jobs from illegal applicants;
Border security measures, enhanced penalties, and other law enforcement tools, to secure the border from further illegal entry; and
Measures to make sure that Congress is in charge of monitoring the effectiveness of the program, not bureaucrats.