What's your story?
Each of our families has an immigration story. None of us would be here if not for an immigrant family member who came to America before us. From our founders, to our immediate relatives, they came here in search of opportunity and the American Dream. As we look at solving our nation’s current immigration problem, we do well to keep this in mind.
While we are a nation of immigrants, we are also a nation of laws and we welcome those who are willing to take the steps our laws require to call America home.
Our current immigration system is broken and must be fixed. The immigration bill that was passed in 1986 didn’t actually fix the problem. Today, we have a chance to fix that system and we can’t get it wrong this time.
I do not believe the Senate bill is the answer to the problem. As the spotlight now turns to the House, we are going to take a step-by-step approach to secure our border and solve immigration for the long term.
Before that debate begins in the House of Representatives, I want to get your advice and input as this conversation moves forward.
Below are a few of my thoughts and concerns on the issue:
1. Secure the border: I believe any plan must start with securing our borders. If we don’t secure the border, we’re just going to continue to have this problem.
2. Enforcement: With the border secure, we can begin to deal with those who have come here illegally by providing them a "legal status" to work in the U.S. This “status” does not include citizenship. Everyone is welcome to apply for citizenship; however, they must go through the normal immigration channels and start at the back of the line. We should not be rewarding illegal entry into the U.S. with special privileges to citizenship. Further, we owe it to those who are doing it in a lawful way to enforce these rules.
3. Revamp visa program: We need a visa and guest worker program that is responsive to the demands of our economy and the industries that need more talent from abroad. Currently, we are sending engineers and scientists back to their countries of origin after they graduate from our best universities rather than granting them visas to use their skills here.
Again, I welcome your ideas for how we move forward in this very important debate. Let’s keep the conversation going.
Have a happy and safe 4th of July,