As Chairman of the House Immigration Reform Caucus, I have worked across party lines to secure our border and fight against amnesty. As a nation, we need to ensure respect for the laws of this country and fairness for the millions of immigrants who came here legally and have waited in line. We also need to recognize that a weak border provides easy access to our nation and our people for those who would cause harm including terrorists, illegal drug smugglers, and other violent criminals.

The solution to the illegal immigration problem requires both short-term and long-term action. We need to finish the fence between the United States and Mexico. This should include the use of new, enhanced technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicles. We need to increase the number of agents patrolling the border and the number of Immigration Control Enforcement (ICE) agents who should focus more on interior enforcement and train local authorities throughout the nation to assist them.  However, more importantly, we need to identify and aggressively prosecute exploitive employers who continue to hire illegal immigrants. This is why I took the lead in demanding that all federal contractors use the new ‘E-Verify’ system to make sure taxpayer’s money only goes to paychecks for individuals who are in this country legally.

At the end of the day, I think we need to remember that taxpayers are being forced to pay a steep price – in both money and in violent crime – for the federal government’s failure to address the immigration issue. In addition to that, we need to remember that the human smuggling, prostitution, murder and virtual enslavement of human beings drawn to this nation by private sector and taxpayer-funded jobs is a crisis that is best addressed by securing not only the border, but the job market, as well.