Fixing America’s broken immigration system is one of my top legislative priorities. President Obama’s 2014 executive actions on immigration and subsequent agency guidance derailed efforts to modernize our system and to create a workable platform that will take our country through the 21st Century. This, combined with deadlock on comprehensive reform efforts in the past, virtually halted any prospects of meaningful reform during the 114th Congress.
President Trump is moving to reverse the mistakes of the prior administration. I am optimistic that reform is not only possible but will have renewed interest in the House of Representatives in the new 115th Congress. Our top priority for immigration reform should be securing our nation’s borders to ensure that illegal entrants, especially those that pose national security and public safety threats to America, are stopped before they enter. We also must examine how to enhance and enforce the immigration laws already on the books. To do that, we must give our federal immigration enforcement officials the resources they need to enforce the laws we already have. We must also allow local law enforcement to work together with our federal immigration officers in order to provide the interior enforcement needs of our nation.
Beyond reform, I believe that modernizing our guest worker program is 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.
My experience as an immigration attorney gives me the unique perspective on these issues. Combatting our current immigration crisis requires a true understanding of the components of this complicated set of laws. I am committed to striking a balance that encompasses reforms to our enforcement mechanisms, our legal immigration programs and identifying the right plan to address the current undocumented population.