I believe that the majority of us want a fair and humane immigration policy based on enforcement of established laws. One that takes in to account a finite amount of resources and one that clearly delineates and enforces the differences between what is legal vs illegal. Unfortunately, at this time, it is very easy to come to America illegally, and very hard and extremely expensive to come to America legally. This needs to be changed.

We are and ALWAYS have been a nation of immigrants, and we have ALWAYS been a nation of laws. Unfortunately, immigration has been a political football for decades. How can we forget the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). When then ‘rising levels of illegal immigration’ led to a Ronald Reagan driven policy to provide amnesty for 3 million illegal immigrants, in return for increased border security and penalties for companies knowingly hiring illegal immigrants. And who among us could possibly forget Bill Clinton’s 1996 State of the Union Address calling for increased border security and a crackdown on companies hiring illegals. H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama have all stated the same concerns.

Immigration to the United States, both legal and illegal, has exploded over the last two decades. According to the Census Bureau, our nation’s immigrant population hit a record 43.7 million in July 2016, an increase of 12.6 million since 2000. The true accurate number of immigrants living here Illegally is difficult to ascertain, however best estimates place the number upwards of over 11-12 million. This is a lot to manage, places tremendous strain on our current support structures, and at this point, unfortunately places us in a lackluster and dangerous position of leading from behind while we try to best manage the situation.

Cost Per : $6,340
Total Cost : $2,003,001,178

Total Cost of Illegal Immigration
Total National Expenditures $134,863,455,364
Minus Total Tax Contributions $18,968,857,700
Total Fiscal Cost of Illegal Aliens on Taxpayers $115,894,597,664
The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on United States Taxpayers
Report by Matt O'Brien and Spencer Raley

In order to help better manage the influx of people, in support of all involved, I believe that we must first and foremost focus on safety and security. We must secure the borders. That begins with fences, walls, more border patrol agents, and technologically advanced security including unmanned aerial surveillance.

Next, since about 40% of the illegal immigrants in the U.S. come here legally then remain once their visas expire, we need a much better system for tracking visa overstays. America also needs a much more effective and efficient employment verification system so that companies can have confidence the people they hire are legally entitled to work and that large corporations aren’t abusing the system. Likewise, we must reform guest worker programs to make sure that American workers aren’t being displaced in the process of companies meeting legitimate worker shortages.

I support the current administrations plan working to ending chain migration, ending the visa lottery program, and reforming our current immigration laws in support of merit-based qualifications.

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