As of 2009, there were 10.8 million aliens without lawful immigration status, according to estimates by the Department of Homeland Security. These illegal aliens cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year, take jobs from hard-working American citizens, decrease the wages for legal workers, raise health care costs, drain state education funding, deplete public assistance programs, and elevate our crime rates.
We must make it a priority to fix America’s broken immigration system. I have consistently worked to ensure that our immigration policy is based on national economic, social, and humanitarian interests, rather than the interests of those who would abuse our laws. I am a member of the Immigration Reform Caucus, which reviews current immigration policy, initiates new immigration policy, and creates a much-needed forum in Congress to address both the positive and negative consequences of immigration. Here are some of the proposals that I believe would begin to fix our system. What proposals do you support? Weigh in with your comments and ideas.
Protecting American citizenship
- I have cosponsored the Birthright Citizenship Act, which denies automatic citizenship at birth to children born to illegal immigrants. This bill clarifies that children born in the U.S. are only eligible for American citizenship if they are born to parents of whom at least one is a citizen, a lawful permanent resident, or performing active service in the U.S. Armed Forces.
- I support the Nuclear Family Priority Act, which eliminates chain migration and replaces it with a single preference for spouses and children of permanent resident aliens.
- Additionally, I am a cosponsor of the SAFE for America Act, which eliminates the visa lottery system that awards permanent resident visas based on pure luck, opening the door to those who want to enter the United States to harm citizens.
Effectively Managing our Borders
- I am a cosponsor of the Secure Border Act, which requires the Administration to develop a strategy to gain operational control of the border within five years.
Ensuring Worksite Enforcement of our Immigration Laws
- I support the Secure the Capitol Act, which ensures that illegal immigrants are not permitted to work within the legislative branch of the federal government. The bill requires all companies competing for—or currently holding—a government contract for work within the Capitol Complex to participate in E-Verify, which is an instantaneous, Internet-based employment verification system administered by the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.
- I am a member of the Reclaim American Jobs Caucus, which promotes policies to help citizens and legal immigrants reclaim millions of jobs that illegal immigrants currently hold.
Tightening Public Benefits Eligibility
- I am a cosponsor of the No Social Security for Illegal Immigrants Act. Under current law, an individual is forbidden from receiving Social Security payments if they are here illegally, but their entire work history—even work done as an illegal alien—can count toward Social Security benefits if the individual later becomes a legal resident. This bill forbids work done as an illegal immigrant from being counted toward future benefits.
Maintaining a Civic Culture Based on Shared Values
- I support the English Language Unity Act, which establishes English as our nation’s official language. This bill requires all official functions of the U.S. to be conducted in English, establishes a uniform language requirement for naturalization, and encourages individuals to learn English.
- I am also cosponsoring the National Language Act, which requires that all official business, including publications, income tax forms, informational materials and public ceremonies where an oath is administered, be conducted in English.