Weekly Feature



2018-01-31 / Editorials

Immigration reform needed for ‘out-of-control’ laws

CHRIS COLLINS
Congressman 27th District

America’s immigration policy is filled with gaps and loopholes costing our nation billions of dollars and threatening national security. We must continue to be a compassionate and welcoming nation, but we need enforceable rules.

Sadly, the recent government shutdown led by Sen. Chuck Schumer politicized the immigration debate, keeping Congress from arriving at real solutions. I hope that Schumer and his Democratic colleagues now realize these types of tactics to impose their will do not and will not work.

We can all agree that it is time for Congress to address a long-abused system that has left us with millions of people living here illegally.

While I support a pathway to citizenship for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients who were brought here as children through no fault of their own, we cannot provide legal status without securing our borders. Otherwise we could face this same problem in five or 10 years.

I believe citizenship for DACA recipients depends upon them going to school, maintaining a job or serving in our military, all while staying out of legal trouble.

President Trump has proposed a wall along the southern border to reduce the number of illegal immigrants flowing into our country. We have seen the success of walls in places such as Yuma, Arizona, where illegal immigration declined by 95 percent. That’s why I support the president’s border security initiatives, which also include more border agents, advanced technology and better equipment.

I also support a crackdown on employers who are not following the law by hiring undocumented workers, taking jobs away from Americans. We must, however, make sure employers like those within our nation’s agriculture community have a willing and available workforce. That’s why I support Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s immigration legislation that would give our current undocumented agriculture workers legal work status with three-year renewable H-2A visas, but no pathway to citizenship.

It is also time for our country to fully implement an e-verify program to assure undocumented aliens are no longer part of our nation’s workforce. We must also make sure we have thorough background checks on all immigrants.

I join the president in calling to eliminate visa lotteries and chain migration. Two recent terror plots in New York City were carried out by people here with these types of visas. Instead, we should encourage only the best and brightest to come to America to help fuel our economy.

Finally, reckless progressive mayors around the country are harboring potential criminals or terrorists by making their municipalities sanctuary cities. When it comes to immigration, we cannot be a nation of “pick your own laws.” I fully support the Department of Justice in its efforts to crack down on sanctuary cities and require cities to cooperate with federal immigration and policing authorities.

The U.S. spends an estimated $100 billion per year because our immigration laws have gotten so out of control. Nowhere else in the world can an individual enter a country illegally and receive welfare assistance, health care and an education. As we continue our debate, I am fighting for solutions that put America first. It is time for action to resolve this immigration crisis.

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