Immigration Reform Center
As a member of the House Immigration Reform Caucus, I believe we must secure the border first, reform our dysfunctional immigration policies, stop the policy of financially or otherwise rewarding those who have broken our laws, and reduce the magnets that draw illegal immigrants to the United States in the first place.
I strongly and firmly oppose amnesty. People who came to this country illegally must not be rewarded for their illegal behavior with a blanket policy of amnesty. This is neither fair nor just; especially to those who immigrated to the United States properly and chose to come to this country under the prescribed legal guidelines. I will be working hard in the 112th Congress to ensure that illegal aliens are not granted amnesty and additional government benefits.
"Sanctuary Cities" are rogue cities throughout the nation that provide safe havens and public services for illegal aliens in defiance of federal law. The policies exercised by these cities are both illegal and detrimental to the security of our nation. In recent reports, as many as 3 states, nearly 50 cities, and the District of Columbia have adopted policies that prevent local police officers from cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents.
This presents a series of problems and as a result, I have been very active on this issue since being sworn into office in 2005.
In the 109th Congress, I drafted an amendment which would withhold federal funds from "sanctuary cities" to H.R. 4437, the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act which passed the House.
In the 110th Congress, I offered a “sanctuary policy” amendment to H.R. 5441, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2007, that passed by a vote of 218 to 179. Like my measure included in H.R. 4437, this amendment would have punished cities that enact illegal alien “sanctuary” laws by prohibiting them from receiving federal homeland security grants. When the Senate and House came together to conference on H.R. 5441, I generated a coalition of around thirty members and strongly urged the conference committee to include the amendment in the final bill. The committee, however, decided to not include it in the conference report and such it did not become law.
In the 111th Congress, I joined with Congressman Gary Miller in authoring H.R. 994, the LEAVE Act, which contained a provision restricting Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice funds from being delivered to state and local governments that acknowledge and protect "sanctuary cities" that harbor illegal aliens that have committed felonies.
All employers should have a reliable, cost effective, and expedient method of determining whether or not their employees and potential employees are legal residents of the United States. The E-Verify basic pilot program has been an important step forward. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reported the number of false positives has decreased and I am hopeful we can progress to accuracy levels that are even higher. This is integral to any successful immigration enforcement policy.
Securing the Border
If there is one thing we have learned in the ongoing mission to secure our nation, it is that we must use existing resources more effectively. While we have provided additional funding, technology and personnel to assist in the crucial mission of securing our borders and enforcing our immigration laws, we have not yet accomplished this goal. In large part, our borders remain porous. Evidence shows that illegal borders crossings have been reduced, but not completely eliminated. Rising rates of kidnapping, drug trafficking, homicide and other felonies along our borders are testament to the fact that our work is not finished. For example, while a border fence exists at the southern border of California, there exist large gaps and unprotected border areas along the southern boundaries of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. As a portion of much needed immigration reform and in addition to other security measures, Congress must ensure that the fence along our southern border is completed.
There is no doubt that our nation is facing perilous times and those of us that live within close proximity to the United States/Mexico border understand that better than most. Therefore, as a major part of our national security efforts, I cannot imagine a more prudent and important time for America to begin fully securing its borders. I assure that you I will continue to work hard in the 112th Congress with Republican leadership to ensure that the border protection is a high priority.
Immigration Reform Legislation
In the 111th Congress, I cosponsored:
H.R. 137: The Employment Eligibility Verification and Anti-Identity Theft Act
H.R. 994: The LEAVE Act
H.R. 1791: The STAPLE Act
H.R. 1868: The Birthright Citizenship Act
H.R. 2083: The Border Sovereignty and Protection Act
H.R. 3308: The SAVE Act
H.R. 4586: The Mortgage E-Verify Act
Campbell Action Center