Like so many other things in Washington, legal immigration by fully vetted immigrants who want to contribute and share in the American Dream has become too difficult. While it is appropriate to vet immigrants in order to minimize the risks of terrorists entering the country under the guise of immigration, some of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services rules and regulations are merely burdensome and nitpicking, thus making the process more expensive, burdensome, and time consuming without providing additional security to those in the United States.
The lack of security on our southern border has become a humanitarian crisis. Those who decide to make the trip north face an extremely costly and dangerous journey. Illegal immigrants face the threat of being trafficked and sexually assaulted. In fact, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), 31% of women and 17% of men making this journey are sexually assaulted. There are also legitimate fears, because of past occurrences, that unaccompanied minors, whose arrivals increased by 25% from 2017 to 2018, will be released to adults who pose a threat to their safety and well-being. Methamphetamines, trafficked across the border by these cartels into places across the country including Southwest Virginia, increased by 38% from fiscal year 2017 to fiscal year 2018. That same period saw a 22% increase in heroin and an astonishing 73% increase in fentanyl. These statistics are extremely concerning. Building a wall, in some places a physical wall, but in other areas smart fences and other technology, will help reduce human trafficking and the flow of illegal aliens and illicit drugs that now cross the border with relative ease. We must also make sure that appropriate measures are in place to protect all ports of entry across the country.
I support the use of the E-Verify system. Federal law mandates that employers only hire individuals who are eligible to legally work in the United States. The E-Verify system “compares information from an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility."
Voted in support of the Securing America’s Future Act (H.R. 4760) and the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act (H.R. 6136). H.R. 4760 would have authorized money for border security, ended the visa lottery program, cut funds for sanctuary cities, and mandated E-Verify to ensure a legal workforce. H.R. 4760 also would have protected Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients. H.R. 6163, in addition to the above solutions, also included provisions to address problems with returning H-2B visas and created a new guestworker program for the agriculture industry. It also included a provision to protect children from being separated from their parent or legal guardian when apprehended at the border. Unfortunately, both of these bills failed to pass the House when voted on in 2018.