As the granddaughter of Italian immigrants, I am thankful America has always opened her arms to people looking to build a better way for themselves and their families. But today America’s immigration system is broken. It’s not working for families; it’s not working for employers; it’s not working for taxpayers. We must work to reform our immigration system with humane and common-sense policies.
Our first principles on immigration reform should be to secure the borders, uphold American laws, and protect our national security. This is why I support enforcing our current immigration laws.
The incentive for illegal immigration into the United States must also be removed. Workplace enforcement is a critical component to immigration reform. Those who knowingly hire illegal workers are complicit in the broken state of immigration in this country. America currently operates with an optional E-Verify system that allows employers to confirm whether prospective employees are, in fact, legal to hire. Congress should explore making E-Verify mandatory and consider consequences for employer violations that amount to more than a slap on the wrist.
Furthermore, immigration reform must also correct glaring problems with the current visa system. It is estimated that as many as 40 percent of illegal residents in this country have overstayed once-legal visas. The existing visa bureaucracy has to be overhauled in favor of a responsive system that tracks individuals upon entry and ensures timely exits. We should also give priority to those with sought-after skills.
In June, I voted in favor of H.R. 4760, the Securing America's Future Act, although it failed to pass. I supported H.R. 4760 because it would have reformed America’s immigration system by ending chain migration, providing funding for a southern border wall, enforcing biometric entry-exit tracking, halting funding to sanctuary cities, and providing a legal, renewable status for those who have received DACA status. Additionally, the legislation clarified the "Flores decree," allowing children and their parents to remain together while in the custody of DHS.
America is a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws. Deference to the rule of law is a defining feature of our great country and part of what makes us a beacon of hope for those escaping corruption and poverty in their home countries.