From our nation's founding, the individual contributions of the millions who immigrated here over the last 200 years have positively impacted our cultural richness and diversity, while contributing to our continued success and competitiveness. Assisting an immigrant through the legal process of becoming an American, by helping to prepare the necessary paperwork and navigate through the various bureaucratic hurdles, is one of the most satisfying duties I have as a Member of Congress. It reminds me of the great sacrifices millions of people from around the world have borne to join our nation of freedom.
As the United States continues to welcome individuals and families looking for new opportunities, our country finds itself in the midst of a serious debate on the issue of illegal immigration. Illegal immigration is a problem that impacts us all, and reform does not have a simple, clear-cut answer. There are contrasting views on how to solve this problem, including amnesty plans, which I strongly oppose. We must not place individuals who have broken the law ahead of those who are waiting to enter the country legally, as well as exclude legal immigrants who are already in the U.S. temporarily. This is fundamentally unfair to individuals who patiently waited their turn; granting amnesty to law breakers is in stark contrast to the founding principles of our country and a blow to those hard-working immigrants who waited to come to this country in the legal manner.
I support plans to reform our immigration system by focusing on securing our borders, allowing the continued flow of legal immigrants and, notably, ending the practice of American companies employing low-paid illegal immigrants. I also support efforts to streamline and expedite our current visa process and to expand the educational visa program to encourage the world's best and brightest to utilize this country's top-notch colleges and universities. We need to ensure that our country remains a place immigrants look to as a land of hope and opportunity.