Tightening America's Immigration Laws
America is a nation of immigrants, and legal immigrants have enriched and continue to enrich the United States. But we are also a nation of laws, and those laws must be enforced. Amnesty, failing to impose sanctions or penalties on immigrants who have entered our country illegally, is the wrong approach and would encourage more illegal entry. It is also unfair to the generations of legal immigrants who have followed the law.
Due to porous borders and lack of interior enforcement, our country faces threats to both our economic and national security. We need more effective immigration laws that will guarantee our security and uphold our laws while continuing to bestow the privilege of American citizenship to those who pursue it through legal means.
Enforcement First: Protecting our Borders
The United States has every right to protect its borders from threats to both its national and economic security. Stopping illegal entry not just of those seeking work but those who seek to harm us must be our first priority. Border security and enforcement should extend to all ports of entry -- land, air and maritime.
Border Security must include:
* Better integrating our nation's border enforcement with all activities involved in cross-border travel and transport, including visas, passports, and the detention and removal of individuals here illegally.
* Providing adequate funds to upgrade and deploy technologies used to control our borders and ports.
* Expanding detention facilities to eliminate "catch and release" once and for all.
* Fencing and increased vehicle patrol along portions of the Mexican border that would provide immediate security benefits to bordering states.
* Expanding registered travel programs like NEXUS and SENTRI lanes at border crossings to expedite legitimate cross-border travel and allow federal agents to focus their attention on illegal border crossing.
Employer Sanctions and Enforcement of Workplace Verification and Compliance
To ensure that those who enter the U.S. illegally are not working we must:
* Create a shared database with the Social Security Administration for the mandatory verification of authorized workers.
* Impose tougher sanctions on employers who fail to comply with mandatory verification.
* Special focus should be targeted at finding and deporting the roughly 2 million persons in America illegally who have committed crimes or who have fled after having been ordered to be deported. Running from the law should be a punishable crime.
Welcoming Legal Immigrants
I am proud of my immigrant ancestors from Switzerland, Ireland, Scotland, England and Germany who came to Ohio to find opportunity. The United States owes its solid foundation to the hard work of generations of immigrants. We celebrate these contributions that have enriched our nation both economically and culturally. We should keep the doors of America open to those who come legally and enrich our society and contribute to our economic prosperity while closing down avenues of access to those who would come illegally.
Promoting American Values
* Learning and speaking English is the best way for immigrants to move up the economic ladder and we should recommit ourselves to the importance of English language skills.
* American citizenship is earned, by following the rules and passing the tests, and receiving permission to enter our country. Citizenship is bestowed by our nation and must not come cheaply or easily; becoming an American citizen is an earned privilege.