The United States has always been a nation of immigrants and they enrich our nation, but right now our immigration system is broken. I want our immigration system to be functional while protecting our homeland and keeping it safe. I believe in a step-by-step approach that focuses on a long-term solution.
The first step to this long-term solution is to secure our borders and enforce the laws we already have in place. Our border security is a national security issue, and should be a top priority. If we do not address it, we will never be successful solving the other challenges in our current immigration system.
Once our borders are secure, and we are enforcing our current immigration laws, we can reform and improve our immigration system. Initial steps should include improved visa tracking and employment verification to improve our national security. We must also revise our current immigration laws to make it possible to come to this country legally to help continue the growth of our technology and agricultural industries. If businesses are unable to hire Americans to fill these positions, agricultural and high tech workers need a way to stay and to work here in the United States.
In Congress we are making progress to improve our immigration screening and verification process. In 2015, I voted in favor of closing gaps in our Visa Waiver Program screening process and enhancing the screening of all travelers coming to the United States by supporting H.R. 158, the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act.
However, the President does not have the authority to rewrite immigration laws, and I have actively opposed his executive order halting deportations and allowing illegal immigrants to remain in the United States.
Immigration is an important but complex issue, and reforming it is in our nation’s interests, which is why we must take a thoughtful approach and enact meaningful solutions.