With more than 12 million illegal immigrants already residing within the U.S. and an additional 500,000 crossing our borders each year, it's clear our current immigration system is broken and the status quo is unacceptable. America is a nation founded by immigrants, but it's also a nation founded upon the rule of law, and Claire believes it is imperative we respect both of these traditions.
Claire supports legal immigration. However, she opposes measures that reward illegal immigrants for their unlawful behavior. That includes granting amnesty to illegal immigrants or allowing illegal immigrants to receive federal assistance.
Since her candidacy for U.S. Senate, Claire has repeatedly stated her belief that enforcing penalties against employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants is the key to curbing the problem of illegal immigration in this country. She believes the promise of employment and social services act as a magnet in attracting immigrants across our border. Claire believes that if U.S. employers were unwilling to hire illegal immigrants for fear of serving jail time themselves, then immigrants would be less likely to illegally cross our border. Any effort at immigration reform should include stronger employer sanctions and aggressive enforcement.
Throughout 2007 and 2008, Claire repeatedly fought to persuade the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Program to intensify its efforts to crack down on those who entice and employ undocumented workers. For a long period of time, ICE refused to even release numbers on how many employers had been prosecuted for hiring illegal immigrants. Finally, in 2009, the new administration at DHS responded to Claire's urging. In April 2009, DHS issued new guidelines and regulations that are increasing attention and resources on prosecuting employers who violate our nation's immigration laws.