SECURE THE BORDER
Past immigration reform efforts have failed because they did not secure the border, and porous borders are a direct threat to public safety and national security.
Securing the border is the first step and single most important facet of any immigration reform plan. It will help us put an end to human trafficking, drug and arms smuggling, illegal immigration and help prevent terrorists from entering our country. It will make sure criminals who have been deported do not return to commit more mayhem. A combination of beefed-up border patrols, increased fencing and technology, and certain consequences for illegal entry will help us keep America safe.
PATH TO EARNED LEGAL STATUS
All immigrants currently living here illegally should be given a pathway to legal status, provided they register and pass criminal background checks. Working immigrants should be allowed to stay and support their families, pay taxes, and live out of the shadows. Other programs for lawful status that currently exist could also be utilized, including those for education, temporary visiting, victims of human trafficking or violent crime, etc.
Those who have committed serious crimes while living here must be prosecuted and/or deported and not allowed to return.
ZERO TOLERANCE FOR IMMIGRATION LAWBREAKERS
Presidents from both parties are guilty of selectively enforcing our immigration laws. Once we adopt a broad based plan to secure the borders, we must thereafter establish a zero tolerance policy toward those who defy our laws and enter our country illegally.
Those who are here legally but overstay their welcome need to fall under the same zero tolerance plan. An entry-exit system, using technology to verify identity and prevent fraud, needs to be implemented.
An electronic employment verification system needs to be implemented to make sure jobs are only being offered to citizens or to legal immigrants. This protects both legal immigrants and American citizens looking for work. No American worker should have to compete with an illegal immigrant being paid under the table.
TEMPORARY WORK PROGRAM
A temporary worker program as part of an immigration reform plan can help both seasonal immigrants and our agricultural and other businesses that depend on them. Such a program must have safeguards to make sure American workers will not be displaced and time limits on how long workers can stay here before they are required to return home.