Border Security and Legal Workforce Reform
by Todd Staples on May 28, 2014 at 2:34 PM
Last week I hosted a bi-partisan group of ag commissioners from eight other states for a border tour. They walked away committed more than ever to fight for good border security and guest worker programs. I wish you could have seen the overrun McAllen Border Patrol substation, a picture of why we must force Washington to act.
I have continued to meet with other groups and leaders across Texas trying to bring as many together as possible to ensure successful platform language. Below is the latest compilation of the best ideas I have heard from a variety of groups. Our goal was to keep the language to one page, in bullet type format, and take on the tough issues that are keeping Washington from acting. The longer we delay Washington from Congressional action, the more it empowers Obama to pick and choose which laws he wants to enforce. It is my hope our Party Platform comes out strong so that it can be used to not only grow our party, but get the naysayers off dead center so we can get meaningful action.
SECURE AMERICA’S BORDERS
Our immigration system is broken and our borders are insecure. Republicans support legal immigration and oppose illegal immigration. Ending illegal immigration will help secure our borders and efficiently focus our resources on targeting drug cartels, thereby restoring the sovereignty of our nation.
The Republican Party of Texas agrees on the following mutually dependent fundamental principles implemented cohesively:
- The U.S. Border must be secured immediately! We demand the application of effective, practical and quantifiable measures to secure our borders that can be measured by appropriate metrics and not subject to manipulation for political gain;
- Enforce existing and new immigration/visa laws. Sufficient measures must be taken to ensure there is no selective administration of our laws, that both employers and employees are held accountable, and that the rule of law is not compromised while implementing market-based guest worker reforms;
- Mandate country of origin application for U.S. citizenship for adults who knowingly and willfully violate our nation’s entry laws to ensure that all immigrants to America – past, present and future – understand the only means to live the American Dream is through the legal process. Children, who came with their parents through no fault of their own, should be eligible for citizenship application, subject to proper documentation and assimilation. Additionally, we urge Congress to clarify Section 1 of the 14th Amendment to limit citizenship by birth to those born to a citizen of the United States.
- Document all unlawfully present immigrants with a penalty not pardon policy. Meaningful fines must be paid and background checks passed to qualify for legal work status – but not for citizenship status, which shall require legal application and entry into the U.S. from the country of origin;
- Reform failed visa system for skilled and unskilled workers. An improved system ensures American workers are considered first, the program is self-funded and fees fully recover costs, participants are ineligible for entitlement programs and demonstrate self-sufficiency, and the most advanced technologies are utilized to monitor and track all immigrants, utilizing contemporary anti-counterfeit technology.
- Modernize legal ports of entry for efficient flow of legitimate goods and services.
We urge the United States Congress to pass border security and legal workforce reform utilizing the above principles, recognizing reform starts with border security and does not include amnesty. Legislation must include criteria to ensure the executive branch does not selectively enforce border security and immigration reform requirements passed by Congress.