October 23, 2007
For Immediate Release
Thompson Announces Plan to Secure Border, Enforce Existing Immigration Laws
Senator Fred Thompson today unveiled a comprehensive border security and immigration enforcement proposal that would make America safer by increasing security at our nation's borders, enforcing our country's existing laws to reduce the incentive for illegal immigration and streamlining the legal immigration process.
"A country that cannot secure its borders will not remain a sovereign nation and you cannot have national security without border security," said Thompson. "It's not only necessary for any meaningful immigration reform, but border security plays a key role in both the interdiction of illegal drugs and in defending America against terrorist threats. Weak borders allow terrorists and smugglers, as well as millions of illegal aliens, easy entrance to the United States."
Thompson's two-pronged plan, which can be found in its entirety at www.fred08.com , is based on two principles: 1) Securing the Border and Enforcing the Law, and 2) Improving the Legal Immigration Process.
Highlights of the proposal include:
· No Amnesty : Amnesty undermines U.S. law and policy, rewards bad behavior, and is unfair to the millions of immigrants who follow the law and are awaiting legal entry into the United States.
· Enforce Existing Federal Laws : Enforce the laws Congress has already enacted to prevent illegal aliens from unlawfully benefiting from their presence in the country including:
A. End Sanctuary Cities by cutting off discretionary federal grant funds as appropriate to any community that, by law, ordinance, executive order, or other formal policy directs its public officials not to comply with the provisions of 8 USC 1373 and 8 USC 1644, which prohibit any state or local government from restricting in any way communications with the Department of Homeland Security "regarding the immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of an alien in the United States."
B. Deny discretionary Federal education grants as appropriate to public universities that violate federal law by offering in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens without also offering identical benefits to United States citizens, regardless of whether or not they live in the state, as required by 8 USC 1623.
C. Deny discretionary Federal grants as appropriate to states and local governments that violate federal law by offering public benefits to illegal aliens, as prohibited by 8 USC 1621(a).
· Increased Border Security : Doubling Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents handling interior enforcement, increasing the Border Patrol to at least 25,000 agents, and increasing detention space to incarcerate illegal aliens we arrest rather than letting them go with a promise to show up later for legal proceedings against them.
· Attrition through Enforcement : Reduce the number of illegal aliens through increased enforcement against unauthorized alien workers and their employers. Without illegal employment opportunities available, fewer illegal aliens will attempt to enter the country, and many of those illegally in the country now likely will return home. This course of a ction offers a reasonable alternative to the false choices currently proposed to deal with the 12 million or more aliens already in the U.S. illegally: either arrest and deport them all, or give them all amnesty.
· Maximize Legal Immigration Program Efficiency : Reduce the backlogs and streamline the process for immigrants and employers who seek to follow the law. Also, simplify and expedite the application processes for temporary visas. Caps for any category of temporary work visa would be increased as appropriate, if it could be demonstrated that there are no Americans capable and willing to do the jobs.
· Modernize Immigration Law/Policy : Change the nature of our legal immigration system to welcome immigrants who can be economic contributors to our country and are willing to learn the English language and reduce the scope of chain migration by giving family preference in the allocation of lawful permanent resident status only to spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens, and no one else (no siblings, no parents, no adult children, etc.).
· English as Official Language : Make English the official language of the U.S. to promote assimilation and legal immigrants' success, and require English proficiency in order for any foreign person to be granted lawful permanent resident status.
· Preference for American Military Service : Place those foreign persons who are lawfully present in the country and who serve honorably in the Armed Forces of the United States on a faster, surer track to U.S. citizenship.