Immigration and Border Security
- Ensure our border is secure
- Enforce our immigration laws
- Implement a strong employment verification system
In our region, we experience firsthand the realities of our broken immigration system. And, for all the personnel and technological advancements, security on the Southwest border with Mexico must still be improved.
Meeting with Border Patrol and Customs Agents at Smugglers Gulch, San Diego
Any immigration reform strategy must begin with securing the border, so that we can control who enters and leaves the country. Our nearly 2000 mile long border with Mexico only has 352 miles of pedestrian fencing and 299 miles of vehicle barriers, including 36 miles of double-layered fencing. To strengthen the border I authored the Unlawful Border Entry Prevention Act, to authorize the construction of no less than 350 miles of additional reinforced fencing at the Southwest border.
It’s estimated that there are approximately 11 million undocumented aliens living and working in the U.S., and it’s essential that policies are put in place to ensure jobs are held by U.S. citizens and legal residents. To that end, I believe that we must have a strong employment verification system in order to ensure a legal workforce. That is why I cosponsored legislation to ensure that employers can use E-Verify, the free, web-based way to check the employment eligibility of new hires.
We must also have strong immigration enforcement. I supported Homeland Security appropriations bills, which have funded the highest number of detention beds (34,000) and Customs and Border Patrol agents (21,186). I also signed a letter to request that funding not be eliminated for the 287(g) program as President Obama requested. This program allows federal immigration officers to work with and train local law enforcement to carry out federal immigration law. Finally, I co-authored a letter to DHS to protest the administration’s decision to release thousands of illegal immigrants as a consequence of budget cuts.
What are your thoughts on immigration reform?
Click here to let me know your ideas on what Congress’s top priority should be in improving our immigration system.