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The Sunbury Daily Item - "Candidates offer views on immigration"

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The Sunbury Daily Item - "Candidates offer views on immigration"

This week, we asked each candidate for the 10th Congressional District to outline their plan for immigration reform. Here are their responses:

Chris Hackett

"Discussions about immigration should begin with an acknowledgment of America's great immigration tradition. Generations have come to our land seeking freedom and opportunity, worked hard, adapted to our customs, and lived the American Dream. As the grandson of Irish immigrants, I personally share in, and benefit from this wonderful immigration heritage.

"The tremendously important difference between the past waves of immigration and much of the current wave, however, is that most previous generations of immigrants came here legally and with full documentation. Today, millions arrive illegally, without approval, and with no way for us to know why they are here or what they are doing. In a nation of laws, not to mention one at war with international terrorism, this is a dangerously unacceptable situation.

"The problem has to be addressed at its root source, namely our porous border with Mexico. Securing our border is the essential first step. Washington politicians have been talking about this for years, but that's the problem -- it's just talk. We have to have a real commitment in terms of border guard personnel, high tech fencing equipment, and funding to get the job done.

"The next issue is what to do about the millions of illegals already in the country. Here again, the Washington politicians are out-of-touch. I will oppose any effort to grant amnesty to those who broke the law in order to get here. It's just wrong to reward law breaking, and it sends a signal that encourages even more illegal migration.

"I believe America must remain welcoming to legal immigrants. They have been, and will continue to be a source of great vitality for our country. But we must put an end to illegal immigration. That will be a high priority for me in Congress.

Dan Meuser

"Illegal immigration is a problem that must be solved now. There is no greater example where Congress has failed the people of the United States than illegal immigration.

"During this campaign I have talked about an aggressive approach to securing our borders, cracking down on illegal immigration, and opposing amnesty in any form.

"We need a Congressman who will work to fully fund the border fence, to increase the number of border patrol agents, and to use new technologies to track entrance and exit into our country by those visiting.

"We also must create a tamper proof identification card that will prevent illegal immigrants from using false documentation to obtain employment. I learned about this type of fraud more than a decade ago.

"Thirteen years ago, our company hired three individuals who presented us with false identification. The INS filed an administrative claim associated with these three individuals; we cooperated fully and paid an administrative fine. Determined to never be a victim of fraud again, Pride set about upgrading its employment verification steps ˆ' assuring a drug free environment, a personal interview and more recently criminal background checks and the new federal government BASIC PILOT Verification Program.

"Pride took responsibility, as every employer must, for doing our part to stem illegal immigration. I regret that the federal government has failed to take this commitment as serious as we at Pride. I will take this commitment to Congress, and use the experiences of the past to help frame policies for the future to keep illegal immigrants from taking our jobs.

"This experience has only strengthened my commitment to help solve this problem when in Congress. We need members of Congress who have the experience and values to fight for a strong plan to solve our problem with illegal immigration.

"Congressman Carney hasn't represented our values when it comes to illegal immigration. As a candidate, Congressman Carney proposed an amnesty plan that would allow illegal immigrants to become citizens after paying back taxes. As a Congressman, he voted against fully funding the fence and an increase in border patrol.

"Congressman Carney has taken the wrong approach. As your Congressman, I'll secure our borders and oppose amnesty in any form."

Chris Carney

"Illegal immigration is a growing problem, and I'd like to share with you what I have done in Congress to secure our borders and protect our country. Our border security is national security; in a post-9/11 environment it is crucial that we know exactly who and what is coming into our country.

"I staunchly oppose amnesty for illegal aliens. While our nation is one of great opportunity, it is also a nation of laws. We need to provide the resources to do a better job enforcing current immigration laws and securing our borders.

"English should be the official language of the United States. Knowing how to read, write, and speak English is essential to finding meaningful and fulfilling employment and contributes to the civic well-being of our country. That is why I am a cosponsor of H.R. 997, the English Language Unity Act of 2007, to declare English to be the official language of the United States.

"Our local law enforcement should be able to combat illegal immigration in our community. That is why I introduced bipartisan legislation, H.R. 2086, to give local law enforcement the training they need to enforce federal immigration laws. Our state and local law enforcement officers need resources and training to deal with illegal aliens. H.R. 2086 would make critical resources available and reimburse these state and local agencies to conduct the necessary training.

"We need more border patrol agents. I was proud to cosponsor H.R. 4088, the Secure America Through Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act of 2007, which would add 8,000 new border patrol agents. Border security starts with putting capable men and women on the ground to protect our country.

"We need to protect our community. I was proud to cosponsor the bipartisan Justice for the Newark College Students, which refers to the Newark college student tragically murdered by an illegal alien. This bill requires local authorities to inform the Department of Homeland Security when they arrest an illegal alien on a felony charge, so that the illegal alien would NOT be granted bail relative to his federal deportation proceedings. Above all, we need to take action in Congress to keep our communities safe from those who seek to do harm.

"We need oversight. As Chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Management, Investigations, and Oversight, I am holding hearings to secure our borders and enforce our current immigration laws. My subcommittee is investigating problems with Project 28, which is part of the Secure Border Initiative. Project 28 was created to assist our Border Patrol in identifying, tracking, and capturing illegal aliens along the southern border. My subcommittee is pushing to ensure that the system is up and running as soon as possible, so that taxpayer dollars are not being wasted on a failed project.

"I have heard from many of you that this is an issue of extreme importance, and you can be sure that I will continue to work toward sensible immigration policies that protect our nation's borders and uphold our rule of law."

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