Illegal immigration is a very serious problem and there is no quick fix to defuse the current crisis. Any immigration reform package should include increased border security, a temporary work visa system, tamper-proof biometric identification cards, and increased sanctions for employers of illegals. While the challenges to address this issue are clear, it is time for America to secure its borders first while also improving our current temporary worker programs. Finally, there should be no amnesty for any individual who has crossed the border illegally.
I believe one way in which we can accomplish reform is by drying up the magnet created by jobs. That is why I have been a leading advocate for E-Verify, an Internet-based system that allows an employer instantly determine the work eligibility of any job applicant. I feel strongly that anyone doing business with the federal government should be required to use the system. For my work on the issue, The Federation for American Immigration Reform awarded me its "People's Representative Award" at the annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire Rally in Washington in 2009.
I am an active member of the House Immigration Reform Caucus, and am working to find commonsense solutions to help control our nation's borders to prevent illegal immigration and criminal activity. For my most recent actions on this front, please check out the immigration reform section on my blog.
As with any other issue of concern to you, I hope you'll take the time to let me know how you feel about this issue.