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Question of the week: Which proposal for enforcing the law and enhancing border security do you support?
Posted by Randy | July 03, 2013
On October 4th of last year, as the debate over immigration reform was beginning, I asked you which proposals for reform you supported.  In response, collectively, 26.9 percent of you said you support stricter enforcement of existing laws and enhanced border security, while 1.5 percent said you are in favor of making it easier for illegal immigrants to obtain citizenship.

Last month, the Senate passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, S.744, which creates a new registered provisional immigrant status, and attempts to condition such status on enhanced border security. After the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) notifies Congress that implementation of a comprehensive strategy for securing the southern border has begun, DHS may start processing applications for registered provisional immigrant status.  This status may not be adjusted, however, until further progress is made toward securing the border, including enhanced technology, fencing and additional agents on the border.  I do not support this approach.

Alternatively, the House Judiciary has taken a different approach, passing the Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement (SAFE) Act, H.R. 2278, which focuses solely on interior enforcement.  The bill provides states and localities with the ability to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law.  Additionally, the bill makes it more difficult for illegal immigrants who are terrorists or pose a threat to national security to enter or remain in the country, and facilitates the removal of criminal illegal immigrants, including gang members.  Finally, the bill strengthens border security, and authorizes immigration enforcement agents and deportation officers to make arrests for immigration violations.  I supported this bill because I believe that enforcing our laws and strengthening our borders – without conditions - must be our first priority. 


Question of the week:  Which proposal for enforcing the law and enhancing border security do you support?

(  ) The Senate bill to tie a new path to citizenship to border security.
(  ) The House Judiciary bill to focus solely on enforcement and border security.
(  ) Neither. 
(  ) I don’t know.
(  ) Other. 


Take the instaPoll here.

Find the results of last week’s instaPoll here.
Comments
Users are solely responsible for the opinions they post here and their comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Congressman Forbes.
  • Gregg J commented on 7/3/2013
    The border must be secured before any other immigration reform is addressed. The senate bill leaves the border unsecure per the CBO. Senators that voted for S.744 have betrayed citizens of this great nation and should be removed from Washington immediately. No path to citizenship (amnesty) is acceptable. We have no idea who is in this country concerning illegal immigrants so it's time to round them up and send them home. Any politician truly concerned with protecting citizens should be alarmed by this titanic security breach. Additionally, most all of these immigrants are low income workers that will be a huge burden on taxpayers. They will also drive down wages for citizens and be a burden on social security. The only winners here are businesses and labor unions that benefit from an increased labor pool. Immigration reform doesn't benefit ordinary citzens in any manner. We need a leader to dismiss S.744 and put the needs of citizens first.
  • John Parker commented on 7/3/2013
    Randy Forbes and I are polar opposites when it comes to government. However, I am not a fan and will not support the Senate version and want our existing laws enforced. Zero tolerance should be applied and enforced. If you came here illegally; you came here illegally and should be removed and sent back to your country of domicile and adhere to our immigration laws just as those others who are now legal citizens have done so previously. As a liberal, I am pretty set in my opinions and I believe in social justice. The only way that immigration can be properly carried out is by strictly enforcing the current immigration laws we already have in force.
  • Pamela Small commented on 7/3/2013
    I agree with Ruth Jackie Mills! No amnesty! EVER!
  • Al Roosendaal commented on 7/3/2013
    I believe that your proposal is a good but partial solution to a severe problem with which this country has been suffering for many years. Should your proposal become law, what then will the country do with those who are left "fenced in the USA"? Would you suggest that we then begin to round them up and send them all back home? What is your solution for that part of the problem? As our representative to the US Congress which has responsibility for solving such issues, your constituents would appreciate complete proposals to vexing problems such as this whether they are in one whole concept or split into parts. However, in my view, attacking it piecemeal is less than satisfactory.
  • Pamela Small commented on 7/3/2013
    Ruth has it right! Enforce our laws and secure our borders now. E-verify sounds reasonable.
  • Pamela Small commented on 7/3/2013
    We have the laws on the books to secure our borders! Do it! Enforce our laws! NO Amnesty, ever!
  • Walt Manz commented on 7/3/2013
    If we continue to try to prevent the illegal aliens from ever becoming citizens, we will continue to be ostracized by the liberals, the media, and others, and will be earning all of the bad names they call us. I believe creating some path to citizenship for people who are going to continue to live here for the rest of their lives makes sense. So allow the path to citizenship after a waiting period similar to what the Senate bill proposes, but put a trigger into the law that it only starts after a significant level of border security is achieved. Do not allow the path to citizenship to start until border security is substantially done, or this administration will never do anything about border security. Also, we need to eliminate all opportunity for bureaucrats and the administration to water down or waive any of the requirements for the citizenship path - we clearly cannot trust them! Build in safeguards that the requirements of the law can't be circumvented or ignored. Sort of like mandatory sentences were established to neuter bleeding-heart judges, we need to set it up so no bleeding-heart politicians or burearcrats can waive border enforcement or mandatory requirements along the path to citizenship. . . . . . . . . . . . But if we continue our refusal to budge on this whole issue, we will eventually lose all credibility, and the liberals will take control and open the borders to the whole world, and we will have no country left.
  • Michael S commented on 7/3/2013
    Our borders should have been tightened up after the 'terrorist' attack in 2001. That we still haven't done this says a lot about whats really going on within out government but thats a another story. Allowing people to cross our borders freely is clearly dangerous since Al Queda can use this avenue to get inside our borders as well. The US needs to secure its borders no matter what else is going on within the walls of Congress. I can not support amnesty to illegal immigrants and I don't care how many millions are here already. I am the grandson of legal immigrants and whole-heartedly believe that if you want to migrate here it must be done through legal means currently existing. I do appreciate the work of the mass of illegals but since they came here through illegal means they are criminals. They should be treated as such.
  • Homer Hazel commented on 7/3/2013
    I don't understand why the last several administrations have failed to control the border. Surely they must understand that if we do not enforce the border, we will continue to get illegal alien foreign nationals waltzing into our country as though they owned it. 1. We need to enforce the existing laws, starting with the border security. Close the border if necessary. 2. Enforce the no employment for illegal aliens. Make e-verify mandatory. 3. Deport all illegal aliens. 4. Then consider adding something to the quotas for LEGAL IMMIGRATION. 5. STOP REWARDING LAW BREAKERS!
  • Thomas G commented on 7/3/2013
    The first thing we have to do is acknowledge that the American public simply does not trust the House of Representatives to do anything. There has been failure after failure in the House and arrogant mischaracterizations, obstruction that has deeply harmed the citizens and widespread intellectual dishonesty in its communication with voters. When only 1 percent of the public views the congress as doing an excellent job that conveys historic dissatisfaction in the eyes of the public. When the people beg for simple votes they cannot get that ought to alarm legislators but it does not. We have failure of the republican leadership to even appoint conferees for budget reconciliation. We had failure to act timely act on hurricane Sandy relief. We have failure to act on the minimum wage. We had failure for over a year to act on the Violence Against Women. We had representatives that actually voted to shove the country into default and that cost the nation's families billions of dollars in wealth at the worst possible time for citizens. Incredibly we have representatives who opposed Lilly Ledbetter, opposed essential reforms of the financial industry, oppose healthcare cost containment and in the most shameful act of all, have miserably failed to produce expanded background checks on gun purchases in the wake of one of the most horrific gun tragedies ever in our country. The House of Representatives left town allowing student loan interest rates to double. Unfortunately congressman Forbes, you have been on the failing end of every single one of these citizen concerns and I do not have any faith whatsoever in your capacity to wisely address the issues of immigration in America. It is outrageous sir that you will post inquiries of voters on issues at the absolute last minute or AFTER you have already voted. There is no excuse for such laziness and you cannot possibly govern in our interests in light of such performance. What we need to do is accept the proposal passed overwhelming by the Senate and put this to a vote without the obstruction of the 'Hastert Rule' that has no practical purpose on this issue that is so essential to the country. Until members in congress humble themselves and cease to insult, mislead, and obstruct the nation's business they should not expect to remain in congress, unless as we all know, they have shamefully gerrymandered their district to insulate themselves in the chaotic maze of perpetual obstruction.
  • Frederic Boisseu commented on 7/3/2013
    I am afraid that if the House passes anything, it will go to conference and what will come back will be the Senate version of the bill, I just do not trust the Republican Leadership in the House to keep their word. Having said that, to me there has always been two issues at play here. One is the security of the border, and that is a National Security issue. It is not an immigration or even a drug enforcement issue, without secure borders our nation is not SECURE OR SAFE from enemy attacks. This is especially true today. We need to beef up and secure our borders first before we do anything else. Once that has been done, then we can deal with the problems that have been caused by not having a secured border, such as illegal immigration. To solve that problem with need two things. One tougher and better enforcement of existing laws regarding employment of illegal immigrants. That would require e-verify and jail time for those that continue to hire illegals after that system is put in place. To go along with that we need a short window of time, where those currently in this country illegally, can apply for and get these new work permits. Once that window is closed, these work permits would only be available at the border crossing and any immigrant caught working without one would be returned to their country of origin and denied entry for at least a year if not more. The next thing is to beef up the visa tracking system, and make it more automated and harder for those that overstay their visa to stay here. This would include integrating it into the same system used by local, state and federal police to check for warrants. Meaning that if they check for warrants on an individual, and that person has over stayed their visa, it will show as an outstanding warrant. We also need to give the local and state police the power to hold, and detain those that the system identifies. One last point that I will make, nothing I suggested above will work if Congress does not get a backbone and defend their rightful position as the maker of laws in this country. The Constitution requires the President and the Executive branch to enforce and obey the laws passed by Congress. If Congress continues to give them the leeway to “interpret” the law and not hold them in contempt when they defy the Congress and remove some of them from their jobs, we will not solve this or other problems. They are breaking the law, and violating their oaths when they refuse to enforce the laws Congress have passed, and should be made to answer for that. Once that has been done, then we can deal with the problems that have been caused by not having a secured border, such as illegal immigration. To solve that problem with need two things. One tougher and better enforcement of existing laws regarding employment of illegal immigrants. That would require e-verify and jail time for those that continue to hire illegals after that system is put in place. To go along with that we need a short window of time, where those currently in this country illegally, can apply for and get these new work permits. Once that window is closed, these work permits would only be available at the border crossing and any immigrant caught working without one would be returned to their country of origin and denied entry for at least a year if not more.
  • Michael Chen commented on 7/3/2013
    Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, S.744, which creates a new registered provisional immigrant status, and attempts to condition such status on enhanced border security: I do not support S.744. However, I do support a modified version of the dream act for young people who for little or no fault or guile of their own were brought and now have no cultural or language ties to their country of origin. For those 12 and under blanket amnesty. For those up to 16 a accelerated naturalization process based on voluntary education and merit. Consider an infant or toddler brought hear who now has no facility with the language of their country of origin. Just an undocumented status but American functionally in all other aspects. Yes it is disappointing that their parents, older sibling and extended family wouldn't be given the same blanket amnesty but from my stand point it strikes the right balance of consideration for the individual and respect for the law. Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement (SAFE) Act, H.R. 2278, which focuses solely on interior enforcement. I hear that this H.R. 2278 will also institute a national ID imposed on all occupant both alien immigrants and US Citizens. I oppose H.R. 2278 if such a national ID is required.
  • Allan Weese commented on 7/3/2013
    I agree with many statements made here already. The laws are already on the books and need to be enforced by the current administration and federal agencies. Nevertheless, let me add to the list: 1. Close the gaps in the border and beef up security along the borders so illegals cannot get in the U.S. illegally. This includes allowing states to enforce border security when federal agents are not available or able to do so. (We have spent hundreds of billions of taxpayers’ dollars securing foreign countries and had many thousands of our military personnel killed in the process. Put our military on the borders for a year or two with the goals to stem the tide of illegal crossings and construct the fencing or other structures needed.) 2. Too many times foreign nationals enter this country and just over stay their visas. Therefore, setup a tracking system for foreign nationals, regardless of why they are in the country, whereby they must check in once every few months. 3. Deport foreign nationals who have overstayed their visa, including those here on education and work visas. 4. Deport all foreign nationals with a criminal record, once they have served their time for the crime. 5. Children born to foreign nationals who are in this country illegally should NOT be granted automatic citizenship. If new laws are needed, this is the one Congress can do immediately. 6. No foreign national should be getting federal/state assistance, Social Security, Medicaid/Medicare, educational assistance, have a driver’s license or identification card, or be registered to vote. Any state government or federal agency encouraging such activity should have federal funding cut off. 7. Another new law Congress needs to pass is designating English as the national language and requiring all who want to become citizens pass an English proficiency test.
  • Keith Sutyak commented on 7/3/2013
    Mr. Steve Smith has it right. No legislation will fix the problem if the President and Homeland Security Secretary are not doing their jobs with respect to enforcing our immigration laws. Why not forget all the games and start playing hardball.
  • joe osborn commented on 7/4/2013
    I dont understand why you all are discussing new laws at all, you all have allowed and in some cases helped shred the constitution, you all need to earn our trust back!!!
  • Michael Gardner commented on 7/4/2013
    No Amnesty! Secure the border! We put men on the moon, we built the ISS, the Hubble Space Telescope and the Mars rovers. We CAN secure our borders and deport ALL persons who are illegally living in the United States of America!
  • Novick Edelstein commented on 7/4/2013
    Immigration reform is necessary to secure our and to eliminate illegals from our country and do not give them citizenship. http://www.novickedelstein.com
  • Doc R. Hogan commented on 7/4/2013
    This is another case of..." if it ain't broke,don't fix it "...Strictly enforce the Laws we have...Deport all illegals with a 5 year penalty for trying to break our laws,before they can Apply, like Everyone Else... Arm,and Employ, Unemployed Homeless Vets as a Human wall since fences don't work...The attempts to cross will be greatly diminished..Quickly. Amnesty is merely a way to Buy Votes...It has no place in our system...It's just another way to Corrupt and Control...and another Huge Bureau to Employ Favorite Campaigners ...
  • Bill Ray commented on 7/4/2013
    They are already criminals, so anything they get is a GIFT. Now, if the border isn't secure nothing is going to work. SECURE THE BORDER! ...then we'll talk about fixing the illegal problem. But, if they the illegals commit any crime, even DUI all bets are off and IMMEDIATE ejection is the only penalty, no appeals, no stays. Gone, kaput, not so nice knowing you, Bye-bye. I hope that is plain enough
  • J D commented on 7/4/2013
    I am appalled at the efforts of the Democratic Party to ruin the livelihoods of so many hard-working blue collar Americans. Adding millions of new job-seekers to the employment market will do nothing but depress wages even further, and make it nearly impossible for the millions of unemployed Americans to find work. The Great Obama Depression is bad enough. Why are Democrats trying to make it worse? Obviously they are the party of the Rich.
  • John Hopkins commented on 7/5/2013
    Dear Congressman Forbes, We have heard that passing any kind of innigration bill opens the door for some 'committee" drafted compromise. Since when does America compromise its laws? These "compromises" are merely attempts to rachet down on the noose of corruption and tyranny that is strangling America. People come to this country to escape the result of non-enforcement of laws. Indeed, non-enforcement of our immigration laws and border security are what got us to this position. No new laws. And when you vote "No", make sure everyone in the country understands why - the why is as important as the vote. Let the people know that it is they who you seek to protect, it is their lielihoods and thier laws that you endorse. And it is they that the Democrats seek to undermine and overthrow.
  • Mike Conley commented on 7/5/2013
    Neither, I want our current laws enforced! Finish the 700 miles of fence and continue for the whole border! Deport everyone who is here illegally, they've broken our laws. The immigrants that are here legally and that have done what they need to do to become citizens should be honored by forcing everyone else that wants to be in this country to go through the same procedures. The Republican party is not helping itself or this country by giving in to the Democrats on any of the issues here.
  • Matt Allison commented on 7/5/2013
    The US tried the amnesty thing once and clearly it did not work. The senate again has taken a mass approach with a big bill, lots of stuff buried in it, and no hope for success. Like ObamaCare....trust us, its in there. Pass the bill and find out. The house is taking a very pragmatic approach. Pass things in chunks. Clearly defined and enforceable rules. Solve the problem and then figure out the fair thing to do with folks who have been here a log time.....but solve the problem first. E-verify sounds great for workers, but you have to extend it to the shadow companies that front for the illegals. If the IRS would enforce the laws and go after these companies we would get the taxes. The current laws are actually pretty good. Enforce them! 11 million came in through poor enforcement practices. The president must be made to enforce the law, not create it by executive order. Hold the executive branch accountable.....
  • Thomas G commented on 7/6/2013
    Congressman, I'm going to try this here. I am contacting you for what is now the THIRTEENTH time on a single issue you have yet to respond to. Sir, really, this is unacceptable to have such a problem when you are there to serve the interests of all the voters. My question is very simple sir and millions of citizens from all across the country have answered this question already. Additionally, most members of the congress have also publically answered this question, and yet you will not sir. My question is simple and it is yes or no, a very fair question and this question is not any different than the kinds of questions asked by lawmakers of citizens in public congressional testimony. Do you, yes or no, support expanded background checks on gun purchases to close the gap that presently exists as a means of ensuring public safety. I found it ridiculous sir, that your staff advises that you cannot answer this question because this issue is not yet before the committee you serve on. Please!!! I am NOT asking for your position on a specific piece of legislation and I made that very clear to your staff. What makes you think that the public will send you to Washington without expecting you to answer ANY question first? It doesn't work that way congressman. You took an oath and I believe your refusal to serve constituents in this foundational way, when millions upon millions of people, including the President of the United States, can indeed give voters such an answer, then you should too. THIRTEEN TIMES congressman Forbes. That is THIRTEEN separate attempts to get an acceptable response from you! Please sir, I urge you to answer this question without further delay.
  • Roger Smith commented on 7/8/2013
    Why do we need to waste Congress’s time passing new laws. How about investing to see why the Executive Branch is not enforcing the laws on the books. This is not a party issue since the porous border has been an issue over several Presidential tenures.
  • Judy Ibezim commented on 7/9/2013
    We absolutely need stricter border security, but only to know who the criminals or terrorists are and why they are fleeing to the United States. The approach can not be bias and prejudice because many may be deterred who really need our assistance. if they come peacefully, we should be mature enough to handle their affairs peacefully.
  • Michael Chen commented on 7/9/2013
    What role does foreign aid play in promoting the policies of our nation? Hmmm .. tough one! Foreign Aid can with the right mix of executive (presidential) leadership, insight and congressional oversight (partnership) Can Provide needed humanitarian aid abroad Could Protect U.S. national security interests Certainly Further economic development in needy countries in symbioses with US Can Protect the interest of our allies, such as Israel Most certainly Support the development of new open markets for investment Might Promote democratic governance providing the recipient country shares our values (not always the case) But if this mix of presidential and congressional partnership does not exists then None, I believe the U.S. should not be providing foreign aid. What is hard to tell is when this demarcation between helpful and useless exists.
  • A Jackson commented on 7/9/2013
    I am absolutely horrified at the mean spirited attitude shown by so many who have posted here on immigration. You are talking about human beings just like yourself, including small children and babies, as though they were a different species. For shame! I hope none of you also call yourselves "Christians," because the founder of that religion embraced everyone.
  • Paula Mendez commented on 7/9/2013
    I agree with so many commenting here that negotiating ANY immigration reform with our current administration is simply too dangerous...it will be twisted and reworded to suit the agenda of top leadership that is glad to make a mockery of our republic and constitution. It does not take "rocket science" to see that the objective is to cripple this country, and we have plenty of Mexican friends who entered the correct way who feel as strongly as we do about this.
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