Illegal Immigration...Responses from Government Officials.
Posted in the Newman Forum
#1 May 22, 2006
Please post any responses you have received from contacting your government officials concerning illegal immigration. We can use the responses to decide who gets to keep their jobs and who gets fired.
#2 May 22, 2006
Thank you for writing to me about illegal immigration. I appreciate hearing your views on this important matter.
Like you, I am concerned about the number of illegal immigrants who enter our country each year. I understand the impact that illegal immigration has on our nation and our state. We must greatly increase our efforts to secure our borders, and I support the funding necessary to do so. To this end, I voted for S.Amdt.516 and S.Amdt.487, which would increase funding for border security and provide for additional border patrol agents.
I am also committed to making our nation more secure by eliminating tunnels that provide a direct passageway into the United States for illegal narcotics, banned weapons, potential terrorists, and others who would be stopped at a port of entry. I am an original co-sponsor of the Border Tunnel Prevention Act, S.2355, which would enact stiff penalties for the unauthorized construction of such tunnels.
The federal government has an obligation to help states bear the financial costs associated with illegal immigration. I am a co-sponsor of S.188, a bill to authorize funds for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, which reimburses states for the costs of incarcerating illegal immigrants. This legislation passed the Senate on May 23, 2005.
I believe that immigrants who enter the United States legally make many valuable contributions to our great nation. I support legislation that seeks to regulate legal immigration according to the traditional American values of fairness and dignity for all.
Thank you again for writing to me. As Congress considers immigration reform, please rest assured that that I will support legislation aimed at stemming the flow of illegal immigration and helping states with the costs of illegal immigration.
United States Senator
#3 May 22, 2006
POSTS ONLY ACCEPT 4000 characters, MINE IS IN TWO PARTS FROM SENATOR CARL LEVIN
Thank you for contacting me regarding the need to reform our nation's immigration system. Our current immigration system is broken and has been broken for many years. Although this problem is complex, the need for reform is clear, and I am pleased that the Senate is addressing this issue.
We need to enact comprehensive reform that will stem the tide of illegal immigrants, will be fair to those who are here legally, and will deal realistically with the millions of illegal immigrants already here. I believe U.S. immigration policy should establish clear procedures for determining who can enter this country legally. It must also both provide the tools for apprehending those who enter the United States illegally and punish those who hire them illegally. We must honor our tradition as both a nation of laws and as a nation of immigrants that is enriched by the diversity of newcomers.
On March 30, after the introduction of Senator Bill Frists (R-TN) enforcement-only bill (S.2454), Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) offered a substitute amendment (SA 3192) to the Frist bill. This amendment would strengthen security at our borders through advanced technology and increased border patrols and would establish heavier fines on employers who hire undocumented workers. It would also create a sustainable temporary worker program to help fill the lowest wage jobs. In addition, it would provide a path to citizenship that would not bump anybody who is here legally, but would allow law-abiding, hard-working undocumented immigrants to go to the end of the line.
Part 2 following....
#4 May 22, 2006
The security provisions in the Specter Substitute are also important for Michigan and for the nation. As the 9/11 Commission pointed out in its final report, the Northern Border has traditionally received dramatically less attention and resources from the federal government. I am pleased the language included in this amendment would authorize an additional 12,000 border patrol agents over the next five years and would require that at least 20 percent of these agents be stationed along our Northern Border.
I am also pleased by the inclusion of the AgJobs bill in this amendment. The agriculture industry is the second largest industry in Michigan, behind only the manufacturing industry, and it depends upon the work of immigrants. The AgJobs provision would provide protections for both immigrants and American workers. It is estimated that without a guest worker program that allows for agricultural workers, the state of Michigan would lose hundreds of millions of dollars. In short, the AgJobs provision is vital to the economic health of Michigan.
Unfortunately, a motion to end debate and bring the Specter Substitute to an up and down vote was defeated by a 39-60 vote. As a result of the deadlock over the Specter Substitute, on April 6, 2006, Senators Hagel (R-NE) and Martinez (R-FL) introduced a compromise substitute amendment to S.2454. This amendment contains the same border security provisions as are included in S.2454 and the Specter Substitute amendment. It also contains an identical temporary worker program as the Specter Substitute for the future flow of low-skilled immigrant workers.
The difference between the Hagel/Martinez Substitute and the Specter Substitute would be the treatment of the approximately 11 million undocumented workers currently in the U.S. Under the Specter Substitute, all immigrants who arrived before January 2004 would be eligible for the same temporary worker program and subject to the same penalties and fines. In contrast, the Hagel/Martinez amendment would divide the population into three groups based on the length of time they have been in the U.S.
The first group of immigrants would be those who are able to prove that they have been in the U.S. for more than 5 years and would be able to immediately apply for a green card. The second group of immigrants are those who have been in the U.S. between 2-5 years and would the have three years to touchback at one of 16 ports of entry and to enroll in the temporary worker visa program. The immigrants employer would then be eligible to immediately petition for a green card for the immigrant, or, after 4 years, the immigrant would be able to self-petition. The third group of currently undocumented immigrants would be those who have entered the U.S. since January 7, 2004. These immigrants would be required to return to their country of nationality and apply for the temporary worker visa program in order to return to the U.S. All of the immigrants benefiting from this legislation would be required to pay back taxes and fines. They would also be required to learn English and take Civics lessons
A bipartisan, fair and comprehensive bill would address the pressing need to strengthen the security of our borders, while providing needed reforms to our immigration system. I am hopeful that the Senate will soon return to consideration of and will act on comprehensive immigration reform legislation.
#5 May 22, 2006
Thank you for taking the time to contact me. I appreciate the
opportunity to hear from you.
Due to the large volume of mail I receive, I regret that I am only able to respond personally to inquiries from South Carolinians.
As we continue our work in the 109th Congress, I look forward to
supporting our troops in the War on Terror, providing the men and women of the National Guard and Reserves with improved health care, strengthening Social Security, protecting American jobs, lowering the tax burden on American families, and making the federal government more accountable and efficient.
If your correspondence pertains to a scheduling request, please fax your request to (two zero two) two two four three eight zero eight.
#6 May 22, 2006
Thank you for your e-mail message. I appreciate having the
benefit of your views.
This response is an acknowledgement that we received your message and will make note of your comments. Delawareans seeking a further response who have included a postal address in their message will receive a reply via U.S. mail as soon as possible. NOTE: Because we have occasional problems with our e-mail system, Delawareans seeking immediate assistance are urged to call my office in Wilmington (three zero two) five seven three six three four five.
For more information about the work I do as a Senator for
Delaware, please visit my web site at http://biden.senate.gov .
Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
United States Senator
#7 May 22, 2006
Thank you for taking the time to e-mail me and let me know your
thoughts on matters of concern to you. Hearing from Wisconsinites is my most important source of information and one of the things I enjoy most about my job.
Constituents who have included their name, e-mail address, and
mailing address in their message will receive a response from me addressing the issues raised. If you did not include an e-mail and mailing address, I encourage you to resend your original message with this information (visit
http://feingold.senate.gov/contact.html to resubmit your contact
information and message). At this time, I am only able to respond to e-mails that are sent individually, not to mass-generated e-mails. However, the views expressed in any mass-generated e-mail that includes a Wisconsin address will be recorded.
If you have a time sensitive question, please feel free to contact one of my offices by calling one of the numbers listed below.(I couldn't post the all numbers but if your are interested you can visit his website).
Thank you for writing me, I look forward to hearing from you on other issues of importance to you.
Russell D. Feingold
United States Senator
#8 May 22, 2006
May 16, 2006
Dear Mrs. Ann:
Thank you for writing to me about immigration reform and the need for effective border security. I welcome the opportunity to respond. I believe that immigration reform legislation must first and foremost include provisions to secure our borders. This is the prerequisite for a properly functioning immigration system. It is also a matter of national security. In today's world we must know who is entering and leaving the country, and why. But security measures alone will not be sufficient to stem the tide of illegal immigration. As
long as individuals are able to find work in the United States regardless of their immigration status, they will try to come to the U.S. to better themselves and reunite with their families.
That is why I support the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006" now pending in the Senate, which provides for strong border security and vigorous interior enforcement of our immigration laws. The bill doubles the number of Border Patrol agents -- adding 12,000 over five years. An additional 2,500 inspectors would be added at seaports, airports, and other border crossings. Digging a tunnel or subterranean passage across an international border into the United States would be riminalized. I introduced this last provision because forty tunnels have been found since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks -- all but one on the southern border and 20 of them in California -- yet there is currently no law making the building and financing of these
border tunnels a federal crime.
The Senate bill also authorizes additional unmanned aerial
vehicles, cameras, sensors and other new technologies to secure the border. It allows the Department of Homeland Security to work with the Department of Defense so that the latter can carry out surveillance activities at the border to prevent illegal immigration.
I believe that with these security measures in place,
immigration reform legislation must also address the question of what to do with the millions of illegal aliens present in the United States. Please find enclosed a copy of my recent speech on the Senate floor detailing my support for comprehensive immigration reform.
Again, thank you for writing. I appreciate hearing your views on this difficult subject and I hope that you will continue to write to me on issues of importance to you. Best regards.
(This will be continued as it is lengthy.)
#9 May 22, 2006
"Statement in Support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform"
March 30, 2006
Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, shortly the Senate is going to be
confronted with a vote on two bills, one of them being the leader's
bill which deals with enforcement on the border, and the other the Judiciary Committee bill which essentially incorporates provisions of the McCain-Kennedy bill into a broad and comprehensive bill which will, I believe, be before the Senate for discussion and amendment.
The bill approved by the Judiciary Committee is a bipartisan bill.
It had a 12-to-6 vote in the committee. It is the first step forward in a very difficult and consequential process to address what has become one of the most contentious issues in American life.
If this bill is approved by the full Senate, it will then have to go
to a conference committee and be reconciled against another bill, namely the House bill, which is very onerous in many of its provisions. The reconciliation of these two bills is going to be extraordinarily difficult to achieve, and it remains uncertain whether any bill can be enacted into law in this current congressional session. Any legislation approved by Congress, I think, has to take into consideration the reality of today's immigration world in America. It is very different from the 1990s, it is very different from the 1980s, and it is very different from the 1970s. There are very strongly held views on both sides. Most, though, of what is attempted by Federal agencies responsible for the administration of immigration services today and responsible for the protection of our borders has more often than not failed, and we have to deal with that failure. Employer sanctions, which are the seed of current immigration laws, have failed. Border control is spotty at best. Naturalization takes years. Detention facilities are inadequate. And despite our attempts to gain operational control of our border and to secure the interior of the United States so that everyone plays by the rules, the Government has essentially failed.
We now have 10 million to 12 million undocumented people living
in the United States. They have come here illegally. They live
furtively. Many of them have been here for 20 to 30 years. I know many. They own their homes. They pay taxes. Their children were born in this country and educated in this country. This is the only home they know. They want to live by the law, but they have no way currently to live by the law. Employer sanctions, I mentioned, do not and, I believe, in our global economy, will not work. That is evidenced by the fact that in 2004, only 46 employers in the United States were criminally convicted for employer sanctions out of 3,258 cases initiated. I have watched in California. On the few occasions where immigration officials have gone to agricultural worksites and arrested employers, the public reaction has been entirely negative.
Both you and I know, Mr. President, that a law is only as good as
the ability to enforce it. There is virtually today no ability to enforce employer sanctions in the United States of America. Therefore, a more punitive immigration philosophy that is based and dependent upon employer sanctions as working doesn't work and clearly creates a situation whereby there is disorganized chaos in the immigration world. Another reason for this is our borders are a sieve, porous through and through.(continues)
#10 May 22, 2006
Thank you for contacting my office regarding immigration issues. I appreciate you taking the time to share your views with me.
Illegal immigration is a serious problem in the United States and the number of illegal aliens is growing each year. These illegal aliens stree infastructure and programsn designed to support American citizens. I support several initiatives that will help decrease the flood of illegal immigration.
First, I will fight to improve border security through such measures as the use of unmanned ariel vehicles (UAV), increasing the number of border patrol personnel, constructing permanant wallsand the use of technology to more effectively and efficiently detect illegal crossings.
Second, the Congress should enact legislation that increases the penalties for assisting or hiring illegas aliens. We must take a firm stance against those that would willingly break our laws.
Next, local law enforcement should be encouraged to report suspected illegal immigrants to the appropriate federal authorities for immediate deportation and local governments that refuse to follow federal immigration laws should forfeit any federal funding for services or porjects.
As your Congressman, I will work to stem the flow of illegal immigration and will not support an amnesty of illegal aliens currently in the United States. Any anmesty would only reward crimminal behavior and would encourage additional illegal immigration in the future.
It is an honor to serve as your US Congressman and I look forward to tackling the difficult issues that 10th District citizens sent me here to address. Your suggestions are always welcome and if ever I may be of assistance, please do not hesitate to call.
Member of Congress
#11 May 22, 2006
The Senator from Arizona correctly mentioned there are 14 miles on the California border with Mexico where there is a two-layer fence. It is an immigration border control process known as Operation Gatekeeper. It was very controversial when put into play, but it works. And he is correct, immigrants coming in illegally in that corridor have been deterred. But what has happened is, it has simply pushed them east into unfenced portions of the border, and those portions of the border where the desert and the heat wreak considerable destruction upon anybody crossing. A concern with porous borders has also brought attention to a classification of aliens known as ``other than Mexicans.'' In 2005, Border Patrol agents apprehended 165,175 ``other than Mexicans'' at the border,
155,000 of them on the southern border. The concern here is that many of these people are increasingly from terrorist-supporting countries, and that presents a real potential national security threat to our country.
We continue to have a catch-and-release policy with respect to this
limited category of people, but we don't have sufficient detention
facilities. Consequently, they are released on their own recognizance
pending a hearing. They are expected to show up at the hearing. More
often than not, they do not show up. They simply disappear into the
fabric of America, gone for all time.
I can go on and on, but I think this gives an accurate view of what
has become an extraordinarily dysfunctional immigration system, and it
has also made me realize that while we need strong border enforcement,
it alone is not the only solution to the problem of illegal
The House bill, which focuses only on enforcement and criminalization of undocumented aliens, isn't the solution. We need to be much more realistic and comprehensive.
Mr. President, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill, and I
must tell you, I regret the way it was done. It was a kind of forced march, hour after hour of amendments on a bill that is very complicated, that
#12 May 22, 2006
I believe has actually come to the floor somewhat prematurely. I don't believe there is yet a consensus in this body, and I hope the debate that takes place can be a respectful debate so Members will feel free to open their minds and then to change them if the facts warrant that.
But this bill is a beginning. It seeks to address the overall
problem in a much more comprehensive and practical way.
First with regard to border enforcement. The bill doubles the number of Border Patrol agents. It adds 12,000 over 5 years. Senator Kyl and I had testimony in the Terrorism and Technology Subcommittee from the head of Border Patrol that today there are 11,300 Border Patrol agents.
This more than doubles that number over the next 5 years.
It also would add an additional 2,500 new ports of entry inspectors in this same period so that the ports of entry are strengthened and legal immigration is able to be handled in a more prompt manner.
It criminalizes the act of constructing or financing a tunnel or
subterranean passage across an international border into the United States. Most people don't know this, but this has become a real problem.
There are 40 such tunnels that have been built since 9/11, and the
great bulk of them are on the southern border. Large-scale smuggling of drugs, weapons, and immigrants takes place today through these tunnels.
I recently visited a tunnel running from San Diego to Tijuana, and I was struck by the inordinate sophistication of the tunnel. It was a half mile long. It went 60 to 80 feet deep, 8 feet tall. It had a concrete floor. It was wired for electricity. It had drainage. At one end, 300 pounds of marijuana were found, and at the other end, 300 pounds of marijuana.
What was interesting is that the California entry into the tunnel
was a very modern warehouse, a huge warehouse compartmented but empty and kept empty for a year. You went into one office, and there was a hatch in the floor. It looked much like the hatch which Saddam had secreted himself in. But when you lifted that hatch and you looked underground, you saw a very sophisticated tunnel. It went under other buildings all the way across the double fence into Mexico and up in Mexico in a building as well.Today, interestingly enough, at this time, there is no law that makes building or financing such a tunnel a crime.
#13 May 22, 2006
A provision in this bill
includes language from the Feinstein-Kyl Border Tunnel Prevention Act
which would make the building or financing of a cross-border tunnel a
crime punishable by up to 20 years.
This bill also authorizes additional unmanned aerial vehicles,
cameras, sensors, and other new technologies to allow the Department of
Homeland Security to work with the Department of Defense so the latter
can carry out surveillance activities at the border to prevent illegal
So this bill is very strong on border enforcement. But it doesn't
leave it there, as the majority leader's bill does. It says, that is
the problem; you have to deal with the other half of the problem, and
there is the rub. That is the difficult part, and that is the
The bill we have from the Judiciary Committee seeks to remedy the
very real needs of our economy which, as much as we might want to,
cannot be ignored. Our global economy has changed the face of the
American workforce. I am not going to comment on whether this is good
or bad. In some cases, it is one or the other. In some cases, it is
But the fact of the matter is the needs are different and the workforce
Let me give you a large industry: Agriculture. There are about
1,600,000 workers in this country who work in agriculture. In my State,
there are 566,000. I would hazard an informed guess that half of the
566,000 are here in undocumented status. I have had farmer after
grower after grower tell me they cannot farm, they cannot grow without
this workforce. I didn't believe it, so I got in touch with 58--we have
counties--58 welfare departments and asked them to post notices saying:
Please, there are jobs in agriculture. Here is where to come. Here is
what expect. Guess what. Not a single person responded anywhere in the
58 counties of California.
That was pretty convincing evidence to me that Americans don't
choose to do this work. It is the undocumented workforce who has been
the mainstay of American agriculture, whether through the H-2A
program coming cyclically or whether it is through a large contingent
undocumented workers who remain in this country year after year and do
#14 May 22, 2006
Under this program--and this was an amendment that I made after
negotiations with Senator Craig who has been one of the Senate leaders
on the agriculture jobs program--and I was very pleased to negotiate
him and very delighted to see that he really cared enough to spend the
day Monday in the Judiciary Committee. Between us, and with the
committee's help, we have worked out a program whereby an
undocumented worker could apply for a blue card if that worker could
demonstrate that he or she has worked in American agriculture for at
least 150 workdays within the previous 2 years before December 31,
2005. After receiving blue cards, individuals who have then worked an
additional period in American agriculture for 3 years, 150 workdays per
year, or 100 workdays per year for 5 years, would be eligible for a
card. Their spouses could work, and their children could remain in the
country with them.
What would be the result of this? The result is that American
agriculture would have a stable base of employment which is legal,
which has the opportunity to bring people out of the shadows into the
bright light of day, assume additional responsibilities, grow in the
process, and raise their families. I think that is healthy for America,
Also, we reform the current H-2A program, which is the agricultural
guest worker program, which employs, I would say around 30,000
people and is used largely in the tobacco-producing States. The way
is reformed is it makes it easier for an employer to apply for workers
through an attestation system, the paperwork is simpler, the housing
requirements are changed to make it easier. In general, the bill
the H-2A agricultural program.
Returning to the larger bill, I suppose the most contentious part is
what should happen to the 12 million people who are living here in the
shadows, undocumented. Many would say they are here illegally; they
ought to go back. Well, they are not going to go back. They are going
remain living furtively, and they are going to remain in the shadows.
most of them work.
The question before this body is: Does that make sound public policy
sense over a substantial period of time? These immigrants live
They are subject to work abuse, exploitation, threats, and blackmail.
bill would provide them with an opportunity to come into the light of
day. But it wouldn't be easy for them. It is not an amnesty.
#15 May 22, 2006
instant forgiveness with no conditions. There are conditions on this.
must pay a fine of $2,000, they must learn English, they must have paid
all back taxes, and they must be evaluated as neither a criminal or a
national security threat to this Nation.
Also, they would not go in front of anybody in the line. There are
presently 3.3 million people waiting in other countries legally for
cards, and those people should and will be processed first. It is
it will take, believe it or not, up to 6 years to process 3.3 million.
workers, these undocumented 12 million would go at the end of that
and then one by one, they would come through that line. If they have
worked steadily for the 6-year period, if they can show they have paid
back taxes, if they have avoided any criminal convictions, if they have
learned English in that time, they would be granted a green card.
Therefore, they come out of a furtive lifestyle, hidden and in secret,
living in fear that tomorrow they could or might be deported.
Over the years in the Senate, one of the things that we can do is
forward a private bill. If we see a family or an individual who we
is an exceptional circumstance, we can try and get a private bill
for them, and when we introduce the bill, their deportation is stayed.
very hard to get a private bill through. Many Members don't do private
bills. I met some of the families. I want to give you three cases that
think are eloquent testimony to what is happening amongst the 12
Let me share with you a family. Their last name is Arreola. They
in Porterville, CA. I have filed a private immigration relief bill for
over 2 sessions. I didn't get the bill passed, but their deportation
stayed. Mr. and Mrs. Arreola came to the United States from Mexico
illegally in the 1980s to work in agriculture. They have five children,
brought to the United States as toddlers, and three born in the United
#16 May 22, 2006
They range from 8 years old today to 19, and they know no other
home but this country.
Their eldest daughter, Nayely, is a bright, engaging student. I have
met her and talked with her. She is the embodiment of the American
dream and what can happen when we give children a chance to excel in a
loving, nurturing environment. She was the first in her family to
from high school and the first to go to college. And on a full
She goes to Fresno Pacific University. Mrs. Arreola works as a produce
packer and Mr. Arreola now has an appliance repair business. They have
no criminal background. They own their home. They pay their taxes. For
Nayely, this bill offers a glimmer of hope that her family, once and
all, can come out of the shadows. They don't have to have that daily
of deportation. They have been here for 20 years. They are and will be
legal, productive citizens.
One other example. Shigeru Yamada is a 21-year-old Japanese
national living in Chula Vista, CA. He is facing removal from this
country due to a tragic circumstance relating to the death of his
He entered the United States with his mother and two sisters in 1992 at
the age of 10. He fled from an alcoholic father who had been physically
abusive to his mother, the children, and even his own parents.
Tragically, Shigeru's mother was killed in a car crash in 1995, and
was orphaned at the age of 13. The death of his mother also served to
impede the process for him to legalize his status. He could not
his status. At the time of her death, his family was living legally in
United States. His mother had acquired a student visa for herself and
children. Her death revoked his legal status in the United States.
In addition, his mother was also engaged to an American citizen at
the time of her death. Had she survived, her son would have become an
American citizen through this marriage. Instead, today, he is an
immigrant leading a model American life. He graduated with honors
from Eastlake High School in 2000. He has earned a number of awards,
including being named an ``Outstanding English Student'' his freshman
year. He is an All-American Scholar, and he is earning the United
National Minority Leadership Award. He was vice president of the
associated student body his senior year of high school. He is popular
he is trustworthy. He is an athlete. He was named the ``Most
Inspirational Player of the Year'' in junior varsity baseball and
well as varsity football. After graduating, he volunteered for 4 years
help coach the school's girl's softball team.
Sending him back to Japan today would be an enormous hardship.
He doesn't speak the language. He is unaware of the Nation's cultural
trends. He is American, raised here, educated here. He is one who is
deserving, who would be helped by this legislation.
#17 May 22, 2006
I see the minority leader, and I know he has a very busy agenda.
Regretfully, I have a little bit more, so I will finish up.
Let me give a third example of the type and character of individuals
that this bill would legalize. The Plascencias are Mexican nationals
living in San Bruno, CA. They are undocumented. They face removal
from the country due to the fact that they have received ineffective
assistance of counsel. They have four children, all born in this
The mother and father are subject to deportation; the children are not.
They arrived in this country in 1988, and they have worked hard. Mrs.
Plascencia studied English. She is now taking nursing classes at the
College of San Mateo. She worked for 4 years in the oncology
department of Kaiser Permanente Hospital, where she was a medical
Mr. Plascencia works at Vince's Shellfish Market. During the last 13
years he has worked his way up from part-time employee to his current
supervisory position. He is now the foreman in charge of the packing
The Plascencia family has struggled to become legal residents for
many years. Based on the advice of counsel, whom they were later
forced to fire for gross incompetence, they applied for asylum. The
application was denied, and they were placed in removal proceedings.
Their children--Christina, 13; Erika, 9; Alfredo, 7; and Daisy,
entitled to remain. Their eldest daughter, Christina, is enrolled in
Parkside Intermediate School in San Bruno, where she is an honor
student. Erika and Alfredo are enrolled in Belle Air Elementary School.
They are doing well. They have received praise from their teachers.
This family has worked hard to achieve the financial security their
children now enjoy. This includes a home they purchased 3 years ago in
San Bruno, CA. They own their car. They have medical insurance. And
they have paid their taxes.
It is very clear to me and I think to a majority of Americans that
family has embraced the American dream and their continued presence
in our country would do much to enhance the values we hold dear. So I
believe that by presenting a pathway for the 12 million to become
this bill offers the only realistic option. Think about it. How do you
12 million people, and what do you do when you find them, if you do? If
brought across the border, they return the next day. This is their
This is their work. There are no adequate facilities to detain them.
most, today, have become a vital and necessary part of the American
workforce--in agriculture, in restaurants, in hotels, in landscaping,
throughout our economy.
We need to build a border infrastructure that is modern and
We can do that. Operation Gatekeeper has shown irrefutably we can, in
fact, enforce our borders if we have the will to do so and we are
to spend the money to do so. But we also need to find an orderly way to
allow those people who are already here, who are embedded in our
communities and in our workforce, to be able to continue to remain.
bill does that.
I know this is tough for everybody because I know emotions run
high and it is really hard to change your mind on this subject because
there are so many conflicting pressures. But we have an opportunity to
chart a new destiny for a lot of people. We have an opportunity to do
something which has a chance to work, which is real, which meets the
needs of real people out there, and which can stop the illegal infusion
through our borders in the future if we act wisely, well, and
I yield the floor.
United States Senator
#18 May 22, 2006
Sent original email to Fenstein on 5/17 - no response.
Sent another today (5/22).
#19 May 22, 2006
Thank you for contacting me about the current immigration debate. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this important issue.
I believe we must gain control of our borders and implement enforcment measures that work. Strengthening our borders is a critical first step, so that those who cross our borders illegally are caught. This includes stepping up our broder patrol presence at our international borders and our ports of entry.
I believe that we should only permit those into our country who respect our laws, our system of government and way of life. As a nation, we have welcomed generations of legal immigrants over the course of our history- immigrants who respect the law and contibute a great deal to our country. Immigrants should demonstrate their intentions of becoming porductive, law-abiding members of society as a condition for recieving citizenship. I do not support a blanket amnesty that would reward those who have broken the law.
Congress must also recognize the value of temporary worker programs. That said, individuals who have entered our country illegaly and remain within our borders should not be rewarded. A temporary worker visa should not be mistaken for a free pass for full citizenship.
For these reasons, I am co-sponser of S.1438, the Comprehensive Enforcement and Immigration Reform Act of 2005, introduced by Senator John Coryn (R-TX) and Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ). S 1438 would establish a new "W" temporary worker visa, replacing the H-2B visa category, under the Immigration and Nationality Act. S.1438 would not provide W workers with any special way to obtain citizenship and would impose harsh penalties on anyone who did not depart the United States when required to do so .
On March 3, 2006, I introduced a version of "The Scott Gardner Act" (S.2365) in the Senate. Representative Sue Myrick (R-NC) introduced "The Scott Gardner Act" in the House of Rep. on September 14, 2005, Scott Gardner, a man from Mount Holly, was killed when his car was struck by an illegal alien driving under the influence of alcohol.
#20 May 22, 2006
Representative Myrick's proposal would make any DUI conviction and automatic deportable offense for any illegal immigrant. Such an accident is a horrible tragedy, and knowing that the offender was in our country illegally and had prior DUI convictions makes a mockery of our legal system.
The Senate most recently debated two immigration proposals. Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) introduced a border security bill, S.2454. Judiciary Chairman Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) offer comprehensive immigration legislation which I did not support. During debate of these two bills, a so-called "compromise proposal" was considered and defeated on the Senate floor through a procedural vote.
While I strongly support efforts to improve border security and pass comprehensive immigration reform, I believe the immigration "compromise proposal" is fundamentally flawed. The bottom line is that the proposal rewards those who have broken the law. Those who have broken the law should not be rewarded with a clear path to citizenship.
I remain hopeful the Sentate will find a common sense approach to border security legislation and comprehensive immigration reform and that will bring this important issue back to the Senate floor soon. I understand the importance of the issue to many North Carolinians and I will continue to work toward a solution. While I am serving as your United States Senator, I will work to reform our immigration system in order to protect the interests of all Americans.
United States Senator
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