What does common sense on securing our borders in a war on terror and how to begin to solve the illegal immigration crisis in our nation look like?
It looks a lot like this. From a letter to Congressman Roy Blunt, U. S. House Majority Leader and the Chairman of the House Committee on Rules, Congressman David Dreier – from Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo – who organized and is Chairman of the House Immigration Reform Caucus.
December 5, 2005
The Honorable Roy Blunt The Honorable David Dreier
Majority Leader Chairman
U.S. House of Representatives House Committee on Rules
H-107, The Capitol H-312, The Capitol
Washington , DC Washington , DC
Dear Leader Blunt and Chairman Dreier,
I am encouraged by House leadership and the Administration’s renewed emphasis on immigration reform and border security. As I have traveled to our nation’s borders and around the country, I have seen firsthand the toll that lax enforcement takes on our nation’s security, economy and identity. The American people have long called for us to fix our broken system, and now this Congress might answer.
Members of Congress rarely have an opportunity to rewrite federal immigration law. This instance will be the first significant debate of its kind in nearly a decade, and it could not have come at a more critical time for the country. As such, I hope to work with you to ensure a robust debate that will permit all members an opportunity to put forth their ideas as part of this discussion. This opportunity is too important and too rare to take ideas off the table.
Our border crisis is multi-faceted—it has created problems on many policy fronts that one would not think pertain to immigration. For each problem Members will want to propose a solution, and as a courtesy to you, I have listed some of the proposals from my colleagues on the House Immigration Reform Caucus below.
Fixing our Broken Borders:
Begin building a border security fence
Put military on the border
End ‘catch and release’
Mandate passport usage for everyone traveling internationally
Make volunteer border patrol a sanctioned federal activity
Suspend visa waiver program
Enforcing the Law throughout our Country:
Require a federal response when local law enforcement asks to have illegal aliens arrested
Restrict federal money that goes to local governments that have illegal alien sanctuary policies
Close the loophole which allows religious organizations and their agents to be immune from illegal alien harboring laws
Make a DUI a deportable offense
Increase penalties for smuggling of illegal aliens
Increase penalties for terrorists who are illegal aliens
Increase penalties for gang members who are illegal aliens
Draft minimum standards for birth certificates and birth/death registries
Make unlawful presence in the U.S. a felony
Stopping Businesses from Hiring Illegals:
Make employment verification mandatory
Eliminate the business tax write-off for illegal workers
Increase the penalty for employers who hire illegal aliens
Make businesses who hire illegal aliens ineligible for future guest workers
Reducing the Incentive to Come Illegally:
Disallow all federal funding from going to states that offer in-state tuition to illegal aliens
Disallow the matricula consular card as a legal form of identification
Reform the use of ITINs
Eliminate social security totalization for illegal aliens
Disentangling Foreign Policy from Immigration:
Block any immigration provisions from being inserted into trade bills
Block visas to countries that refuse to take their nationals back
Reduce the availability of yearly legal visas per country by the number of illegal aliens from such country
Restoring the Meaning of Citizenship:
End birthright citizenship for illegal aliens
Eliminate dual citizenship
Make English the official language
Write the oath of citizenship into law
Reforming Legal Immigration:
Eliminate the visa lottery
Eliminate chain migration
Eliminate H-1B visas
Eliminate unskilled worker green cards
Create a Department of Immigration or a cabinet-level agency
Like most Americans, I am optimistic about the soon-to-be introduced Chairman’s mark on this issue, and I am hopeful it will contain many of these provisions.
If, however, the base bill does not include these components, we hope that you will pass a rule for its consideration that will allow for an open debate that will permit these and other proposals to be offered as amendments. While not all of these solutions will become law, at this critical juncture, I believe it would be in the best interest of the American people for each proposal to be given an up-or-down vote.
Thank you in advance for your consideration.
House Immigration Reform Caucus