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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. 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. 

In May 2017, I introduced legislation – the Davis-Oliver Act – which allows states and localities to participate in the enforcement of immigration laws; strengthens the ability of ICE officers to do their job; and makes it more difficult for terrorists and criminals to enter our country.  In June 2017, the House Judiciary Committee approved my bill.  That same month, the House passed Kate’s Law and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, which include provisions from the Davis-Oliver Act. 

We also need to reform America’s refugee program.  In June 2017, I introduced legislation to curb fraud in the refugee program, give state and local governments the power to decide if refugees are to be resettled within their communities and empower Congress, not the President, to set the cap on the number of refugees permitted to enter the United States annually.  This bill has been approved by the House Judiciary Committee.

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.