As a member of the Immigration Reform Caucus, I will have an opportunity to work with my colleagues to develop a comprehensive immigration reform package. I believe in border security first. We must stop the flow of illegal aliens into the United States. If we don't, our school systems, health care delivery systems and safety will continue to be compromised. The current law is not being executed efficiently. Our sheriffs, officers, and guards have too many impediments to be able to do their job effectively, which makes it much easier for illegals to come through our borders. For this reason, I am supporting the following legislation that would strengthen our immigration process.
* H.R. 140 - Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011
o This legislation amends the Immigration and Nationality Act by clarifying that a person born in the United States gains citizenship if the parents are: a) a citizen or national of the United States, b) a lawful permanent resident alien who resides in the United States, and c) an alien performing active service in the United States Armed Forces.
* H.R. 152 -- National Guard Border Enforcement Act
o To provide for the deployment of 10,000 additional National Guard troops along the international border between the United States and Mexico in support of border control activities until the Secretary of Homeland Security certifies that the federal government has achieved operational control of the border. The bill also authorizes the Secretary to exceed 10,000 troops upon the request of a state that shares a portion of the U.S. -- Mexico border if, despite deployment of the first additional 10,000 troops, operation control of the border has not been achieved.
* H.R. 997 - English Language Unity Act of 2011
o This legislation makes English the official language of the United States.
* H.R. 1505 -- National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act
o This legislationprohibits the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture from taking action on public lands which impede border security on such lands.
* H.R. 2000 -- Secure America Through Enforcement and Verification Act of 2011 ("SAVE Act")
o This legislation increases border patrol agents by 5,000, utilizes new technology and infrastructure to secure the border, and expands anti-smuggling enforcement programs through a pilot program using aerial surveillance, satellite, and equipment sharing between the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense. In addition to expanding the E-Verify program and making it mandatory for all employers, the bill also expedites the processing and removal of illegal aliens by expanding detention capacity and increasing the number of immigration judges.
* H.R. 2463 -- Border Security Technology Innovation Act of 2011
o I have introduced this bill again this year, and it was passed by the Technology and Innovation Subcommittee of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on July 13. The bill focuses on key long-term technologies that could substantially improve the security of our nation's borders, including research into the routine operation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for border and maritime security missions, research into tunnel detection technologies, and research to counter the use of counterfeit documentation for cargo and persons. The bill also directs the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a study into the use of biometric technology at the border. Finally, the bill includes provisions to extend a scientific advisory board that expired in 2008, requests input from the Government Accountability Office on long-term research trends in this area, and requires technical projects at DHS to include clear cost and operational requirements.
It is important that we recognize the significant contributions legal immigrants have made to the United States; however, I do not favor granting citizenship to someone for breaking an immigration law.