Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Here is Fred Thompson's immigration platform:
"In the post-9/11 world, immigration is much more of a national security issue. A government that cannot secure its borders and determine who may enter and who may not, fails in a fundamental responsibility. As we take steps to secure our borders and enforce our laws, we must also ensure that our immigration laws and policies advance our national interests in a variety of areas, and that the immigration process itself is as fair, efficient, and effective as possible.
Securing the Border and Enforcing the Law A fundamental responsibility of the federal government is to secure the nation's borders and enforce the law. The following policies and initiatives will put the nation on a path to success: No Amnesty. Do not provide legal status to illegal aliens. 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. In some cases, those law-abiding and aspiring immigrants have been waiting for several years. 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. Self-deportation can also be maximized by stepping up the enforcement levels of other existing immigration laws. This course of action 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. Attrition through enforcement is a more reasonable and achievable solution, but this approach requires additional resources for enforcement and border security: Doubling ICE 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.
Adding resources for the Department of Justice to prosecute alien smugglers, people involved in trafficking in false identification documents, and previously deported felons. Maximizing efforts to prosecute and convict members of criminal alien gangs, such as MS-13 and affiliated gangs. These gangs have brought unusual levels of violence to more than 30 U.S. states and have also become very active in drug-smuggling, gun-smuggling, and alien-smuggling. Implementing fully and making greater use of the expedited removal process already allowed under federal law.
Enabling the Social Security Administration to share relevant information with immigration and law enforcement personnel in a manner that will support effective interior enforcement efforts. Enforce Existing Federal Laws.
Enforce the laws Congress has already enacted to prevent illegal aliens from unlawfully benefiting from their presence in the country: 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.
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.
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).
Reduce the Jobs Incentive. Ensure employee verification by requiring that all U.S. employers use the Department of Homeland Security's electronic database (the E-Verify system) to confirm that a prospective employee is authorized to work in the U.S. Now that the technology is proven, provide sufficient resources to make the system as thorough, fast, accurate, and easy-to-use as possible. Bolster Border Security.
Finish building the 854-mile wall along the border by 2010 as required by 8 USC 1103. Extend the wall beyond that as appropriate and deploy new technologies and additional resources to enhance detection and rapid apprehension along our borders by 2012.
Increased Prosecution. Deploy the additional assets outlined above to prosecute alien smugglers ('coyotes'), alien gang members, previously deported felons, and aliens who have repeatedly violated our immigration laws much more vigorously.
Rigorous Entry/Exit Tracking. Complete the implementation of a system to track visa entrants and exits, as has been required by federal law for more than ten years, and connect it to the FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC), in order to curb visa overstays and permit more effective enforcement.
Improving the Legal Immigration Process The United States is a nation of immigrants. We must continue to welcome immigrants and foreign workers who come to our country legally, giving priority to those who can advance the nation's interests and common good. Immigrants and foreign workers who play by the rules need to be rewarded with faster and less burdensome service, not delays that last years.
Advancing the following initiatives will require close cooperation between all levels of government, the business community, and concerned citizens:
Maximize 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. This can be accomplished by hiring more personnel at Citizenship and Immigration Services and the FBI. 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.
Enhanced Reporting. Improve reporting to the government by businesses that rely on temporary workers so that the government can track whether the visa holder remains employed. Modernize Immigration Law/Policy. Change the nature of our legal immigration system to welcome immigrants who can be economic contributors to our country, are willing to learn the English language, and want to assimilate. 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.).
Eliminate the diversity visa lottery.
English As Official Language. Make English the official language of the United States to promote assimilation and legal immigrants' success, and require English proficiency in order for any foreign person to be granted lawful permanent resident status.
Freedom from Political Oppression. Preserve U.S. laws and policies to ensure that the United States remains a beacon and a haven for persons fleeing political oppression, while assuring appropriate admission standards are maintained. Service to Country. 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."