Now is the time to reform America’s broken immigration system. In order for us to have real immigration reform, our top priority needs to be to secure our nation’s borders and start enforcing the immigration laws already enacted. To do so we must give our federal immigration enforcement officials the resources they need to enforce the laws on the books. We must also allow local law enforcement to work together with our federal immigration officers in order to provide the interior enforcement needs of this nation.
I will oppose any legislation based on the philosophy of “legalization first, border security later.” No effort to legalize unauthorized immigrants should proceed unless measures to secure the border and guarantee future enforcement, including E-Verify and interior enforcement, are implemented.
Beyond additional enforcement, reform must modernize our guest worker programs. Guest workers are vital to keep industries in America, and particularly in Idaho, competitive internationally. By providing a legal avenue for foreign workers to enter the United States, a guest worker program is critical to secure the border and eliminate illegal immigration.
Unlike the Senate comprehensive bill, the House is working on step-by-step reform. As of October 1, the Judiciary Committee, of which I am a member, has passed four immigration bills—the SAFE Act, AG Act, Legal Workforce Act, and SKILLS Visa Act - with other bills on the way. The Senate bill repeats the mistakes of the 1986 amnesty, but doing nothing is also not a solution. The House is committed to true reform, and I will lead the fight to make it happen.