I cannot and will not support any type of reform until we secure the border first. Border security is the key to effective immigration policy. With more than 11.5 million undocumented immigrants living and working in the United States, it’s obvious that our current system is broken and in need of reform. And with the wave of caravans attempting to cross our border every day, I stand in firm agreement with President Donald Trump that we have an absolute crisis at our Southern border that has to be addressed. Now.

During any consideration of immigration legislation, I have three key principles that I plan to stick to:

  1. Any effort to fix our immigration system must first start with securing our borders. Enforcement and border security need to be addressed first as part of a common-sense, step-by-step approach that focuses on a long-term solution.

  2. Any reforms must contribute to the American economy and enrich hard-working Americans. Part of staying competitive is making sure that we’re attracting the best and brightest people from around the world. That’s the American tradition, and it’s why we need immigration reform that reflects the needs of our employers and job creators. 

  3. Any reforms must recognize that we are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws. Granting amnesty to illegal immigrants would be an affront to the millions of legal immigrants and to the citizens of our great country. We cannot continue to have an immigration system that rewards people who break our laws while punishing those who want to follow them.

Unfortunately, the federal government has not only been unwilling to adequately secure the border, but it has failed in its responsibility to establish and carry out a comprehensive plan to do so. I have long supported measures to strengthen our border security:

  • I’ve cosponsored legislation to force the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish a plan that demands results verified by metrics to hold the administration accountable.

    • This plan mandates a comprehensive strategy to gain and maintain situational awareness and operational control of the border and is fully supported by the National Sheriffs’ Association.

    • DHS must report these results to independent agencies to be verified and to ensure that the plan is feasible and fully secures the border.

    • But the buck stops with Congress – DHS must report to Congress every step of the way to verify the plan’s strategy, implementation, metrics and mandated results.

  • I’ve also voted to:

    • Increase funding for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) by $110.6 Million

    • Authorize the highest number of CBP and Border Security Officers in history

    • Fully fund the mandated detention beds required by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

    • Authorize and fund President Donald Trump’s request for border wall construction
    • Provide additional technology, roads and other tactical infrastructure while increasing boots on the ground and border patrol
    • Require full implementation at all air, land and sea ports of entry

This is not just an immigration issue - it is a national security and a humanitarian crisis. We must be able to make intelligent decisions about who and what crosses our borders. Establishing a plan that demands results will help keep us safe and will prevent criminals, drug cartels and terrorists from exploiting our porous borders.

A reform to our system without this critical component is a non-starter for me. While I can’t predict what the outcome of the immigration debate will be, I can assure you that I’m listening to your priorities at home and sharing them with my colleagues in Washington.



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    repName John Smith  
    helpWithFedAgencyAddress Haverhill District Office
    1234 S. Courthouse
    Haverhill, CA 35602
    district 21st District of California  
    academyUSCitizenDate July 1, 2012  
    academyAgeDate July 1, 2012  
    academyApplicationDueDate October 20, 2012  
    repStateABBR AZ  
    repDistrict 1  
    repState Arizona  
    repDistrictText 1st  
    SponsoredBills Sponsored Bills  
    CoSponsoredBills Co-Sponsored Bills  
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