America is a land of opportunity and a country that has always been comprised of immigrants searching for the promise of the American Dream. Just as we are a nation of immigrants, America is also a nation of laws, and those laws must be obeyed and enforced in order to maintain our social compact with one another as citizens of the United States. Therefore, securing our borders and stopping the flood of illegal immigrants must be a top priority for our nation.
Without question, the flood of illegal immigrants at the southern border is due to the President Obama’s refusal to enforce our laws. I believe we should prioritize helping those who follow the legal process for coming to the United States and that the Administration should return those who enter America illegally to their country of origin as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the president has chosen to evade Congress and act unilaterally and illegally. I strongly oppose his unconstitutional actions and the impact they will have on day-to-day life in Oklahoma. And I have supported successful efforts to stop the president's unconstitutional overreach in the courts.
Certain Obama Administration policies have permitted local governments to ignore federal statutes and create “Sanctuary Cities” where illegal immigrants do not fear deportation based solely on their immigration status. The fact that President Obama supports any such policy anywhere in the United States is shameful. Recent events have shown that criminal aliens have used these areas as safe havens to avoid detection and deportation. For those reasons, I support legislation to protect our communities from illegal aliens and prevent state or local governments from ignoring federal law.
Our nation has many brave men and women who are working tirelessly to protect our borders. Their fight against illegal immigration is complex and ever-changing. To provide better enforcement, our border agents need access to innovative equipment and technology. They also need special instruction and training to do the important job of keeping our borders secure. That’s why I have supported legislation and policies to better equip, train and fund our border agent programs.
I support protecting businesses and American workers using verification systems that instantly check a worker's legal status; some states have instituted e-Verify. Employers should have the best tools to check an applicant’s work status quickly, accurately and efficiently. In addition, employers who knowingly hire illegal workers should be prosecuted.
More on Immigration
Even though the U.S. House of Representatives was not in session, I kept a busy schedule during the extended work period. Throughout the last six weeks, I spent a great deal of time in Oklahoma hearing directly from constituents, local community leaders and small business owners at town halls and other meetings. In addition to these valuable conversations with fellow Oklahomans, I participated in two insightful learning trips with some of my colleagues in Congress.