Few people remember, but Ronald Reagan was the last President to sign an amnesty bill. He did it as a part of a deal to secure the borders. We are still waiting for the second half of that deal.
Therefore, the solution to our illegal immigration problem must begin with securing our borders (not with a deal). Border security doesn’t just mean building a fence, though. It also means more border patrol and a better use of technology (sensors, drones, etc.).
We must also back up our border security by enforcing immigration laws on our streets and in our towns. As you may remember, Arizona recently passed an illegal immigration law. Their law was the same as the federal government’s. I was a primary co-sponsor of South Carolina’s version of the same bill. Not only is the federal government currently ignoring immigration laws, but many cities and local governments are as well. That must stop.
Congress should also provide businesses with the tools they need to verify the citizenship of each person who applies for a job. Currently, business owners can’t fully verify the status of job applicants. Finally, we must keep track those with work or travel visas. A large minority of the illegal immigrant population did not sneak across the northern or southern border. They flew here legally, but never left.
Fixing the illegal immigration problem won’t be simple, quick, or seamless. But these initiatives absolutely move us in the right direction.