Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Urbana) today released the following column on immigration reform:
The controversial immigration reform proposal being debated in the U.S. Senate suffered a major setback Thursday, failing to garner enough support to limit debate and move it forward for a vote.
From my perspective, this is not only a victory for those of us who opposed the measure, but for every family that values the traditional American principles of hard work and the rule of law.
The Senate proposal would have effectively granted amnesty to some 12 million people living in this country illegally.
I cannot think of a more misguided approach to one of the most pressing issues facing our country today.
Apparently, neither can most Americans.
In the brief five months since I was sworn in as your congressman, our office has averaged nearly 1,000 phone calls, faxes, and e-mails per week on a wide variety of topics.
The contacts to our office about this issue have been nearly 100 percent against the Senate proposal. I imagine the response received by the offices of senators and other House members is not much different.
Too often, it seems the politicians in Washington are distant from the families they represent, legislating from inside the Beltway without concern for how their decisions impact the rest of us.
This Senate immigration proposal was yet another example.
The difference this time was that the voices of reason from individuals and families across America were heard. Quite a remarkable victory!
I believe our approach to stopping illegal immigration must follow three principles.
First, we must secure our borders by enforcing our deportation laws, building security fences, and increasing border patrols to stop the problem of illegal immigration at its root.
Second, we must reject “amnesty” for illegal aliens. Allowing these individuals to enjoy the benefits of American citizenship--whether through special visas or otherwise--is nothing less than rewarding their illegal behavior, giving them exactly what they broke the law to obtain. It puts them in line for citizenship ahead of legal applicants who are following the rules.
Third, I believe we must make the legal immigration system work better for everyone involved: taxpayers, employers, and those applicants who are following the rules in order to pursue the American dream.
This third point is all too often overlooked when discussing this issue.
It is always important to acknowledge the difference between legal and illegal immigration, because America is a nation of immigrants.
For over 220 years, millions of people have come to this country legally to work hard, follow the law, learn the language, and become Americans.
These individuals, and the generations that followed them, are what helped make America the greatest nation in history.
Our public policy, whether on immigration or otherwise, must honor the commitment of these individuals and families to traditional American principles.
I look forward to your continued feedback on this and other issues of importance to you and your family. Please contact any of our offices or visit our website at jordan.house.gov to share your thoughts.