First and foremost, we must secure our border. 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
More on Immigration
RALEIGH —Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), working with fellow-Republicans in North Carolina’s U.S. House delegation has introduced two bills aimed at sheriffs who refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials who are seeking assistance in detaining illegal immigrants facing deportation. So-called ICE detainers usually ask local law enforcement officials to keep a subject in custody for up to 48 hours beyond the time they would otherwise be released to allow federal authorities to pick up the subject.
North Carolina congresspeople are trying to bring a failed state immigration proposal back from the dead.
They introduced the Immigration Detainer Enforcement Act this week, which would give states and localities the authority to keep immigrants in custody upon Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s issuance of a detainer and hold them until ICE can assume custody of them.
This bill comes just months after Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a bill that would have forced local sheriffs to comply with ICE in holding individuals for whom the organization had issued a detainer.
U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) plans to introduce the Immigration Detainer Enforcement Act this week in Congress.
Sen. Tillis was joined last week in Charlotte, N.C., with U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and U.S. Reps. Dan Bishop (R-NC), Ted Budd (R-NC), and Richard Hudson (R-NC) to announce that they will formally introduce the bill this week in efforts to clarify the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) detainer authority.
WASHINGTON --Facing a divided Congress for the first time, President Donald Trump on Tuesday called on Washington to reject "the politics of revenge, resistance and retribution." He warned emboldened Democrats that "ridiculous partisan investigations" into his administration and businesses could hamper a surging American economy.
With the federal government entering day 31 of the partial shutdown, questions loom about whether funding for military projects, such as Fort Bragg construction, could be used to fund a wall at the southern border.
President Donald Trump and Democrats in Congress have not been able to find a compromise to end the shutdown, largely over the $5.7 billion wall.