Border security and immigration must go hand and hand. Protecting our border will help keep us all safe and will help prevent the drug cartels from preying upon and terrorizing our communities. I regularly travel to the Texas/Mexico border and have seen firsthand the destruction that the drug cartels cause to our communities and the pain they inflict on families.
To help protect the border, I’ve introduced the Send Equipment for National Defense (SEND) Act, which would make 10% of eligible returning equipment from Iraq available to federal and state law enforcement agencies for border security purposes. With the drawdown in Iraq, we’ve seen an influx of surplus military equipment returning to the U.S. It’s time to make this already paid-for equipment available to border law enforcement officials, who are too often outmanned, outgunned and out-equipped by the drug cartels.
I support immigration – legal immigration – but our immigration system is broken and has been for decades. It’s time for Congress to enact a permanent fix that is both workable and reasonable. The process must be reformed and streamlined. The purposeless visa lottery system should be set aside and visas should be awarded to those who benefit our nation. We have a deep need for high-skilled labor, but while we work to enact a long term plan for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education here at home, we should stop discouraging foreign workers who are American-educated and American-employed from taking what they’ve learned, going back home and competing against us. At the same time, we should dedicate more resources to teaching the STEM fields in our schools to train and prepare Americans for these high-skilled industries. And, we also must acknowledge the contributions of a legal immigrant workforce.
I am against attempts by the Executive Branch to act unilaterally and to avoid enforcing the law. The Constitution does not give the Executive Branch the authority to choose which laws it will enforce and which ones it will ignore. After the President announced his unconstitutional, unilateral executive amnesty program, I immediately introduced legislation to withhold federal funds from the implementation of this program, and I voted against the Department of Homeland Security’s appropriations bill that did not defund this unconstitutional action.
As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, I will continue to advocate for a responsible, fair and permanent solution to our broken immigration system – one that includes enforcement and reform of our nation’s immigration laws, helps to keep people safe, and helps protect our border.