The battle over immigration is stuck on the idea that border security must be obtained before the process proceeds to deal with the 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the United States. To me, and many conservatives, this doesn't seem like an unreasonable request.
My fear is that we will continue to allow the influx of illegal immigrants year after year, while simultaneously granting amnesty to those who came here illegally. In my opinion, that doesn't seem to be comprehensive immigration reform; It's not really solving a problem. If that is going to be the case, then what are we even doing this for? What kind of message will that send to future potential immigrants? It will say that we are not serious about you coming here through legal means, but once you do we will put you on a path toward residency and eventually citizenship.
The Wall Street Journal today doesn't take too kindly to those of us who are insistent on securing the border first. They say, “For some Republicans, border security has become a ruse to kill reform.” That's not true, at least for me. I understand the need for immigration reform, but I'm not for reform for the sake of reform. We have laws already on the books, which look good in writing but have failed to be enforced. I'm afraid the same will happen with the proposals put forth in the Gang of Eight bill; That without requiring triggers for further reform based on actual, tangible results, that we are really passing nothing more than an amnesty bill. The Wall Street Journal says, “The border will never be secure enough for this crowd, so the 'trigger' for the rest of the reforms will never be activated.” That's not true. If certain benchmarks are achieved, then the process moves forward. But I refuse to let Democrats bamboozle Republicans by promising to secure the border, never coming through on it, but still getting their plan to legalize millions of illegal immigrants.
Today Senators are proposing an amendment that would dramatically improve border security. Based on what we know at this time, the Hoeven-Corker Amendment would do the following:
- Require the full implementation of universal e-verify
- Improve the entry-exit tracking system for visitors to the United States
- Complete 700 miles of border fencing
- Implement new technological infrastructure, such as surveillance drones, along the border
- Double the size of our border patrol force
Some people may argue that these measures are going too far and that they aren't necessary. If they are actually implemented, and they work, then what's the problem? The key is that they need to actually be implemented. Then we can proceed as to how to compassionately handle those who are here illegally.