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Throughout our nation’s history, the United States has drawn immigrants searching for opportunity and a share in the American Dream. It is a massive testament to the United States that people around the world are eager to become a part of our country.

But just as we are a nation built largely and impressively by immigrants, America is also a nation of laws that must be obeyed and properly enforced to maintain order and ensure the safety of all citizens. Indeed, we must begin to fill in the gaps of where we are falling short in our immigration system and work to properly secure the border.

Unfortunately, our current immigration system is broken and desperately needs comprehensive reform that puts America citizens first.  While not the only answer to border security, walls and barriers are effective when it comes to limiting the illegal movement of people and drugs across our borders. Indeed, we must propose real solutions to deal with strengthening security at the southern border, addressing the flood of illegal immigrants, improving enforcement of existing law and making the system fairer and more just for all.

However, any significant reforms to our existing immigration system should be bipartisan. As Congress considers any reforms, I will be guided by three basic principles: we must secure the border first; we must have tough sanctions for employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants; and we must not reward those who broke our laws by providing them with amnesty. I also support elimination of the diversity lottery. In the days ahead, I remain hopeful that these urgent issues can be solved.

More on Immigration

July 11, 2014 Press Release
Washington, DC – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requested expanded and longer use of Department of Defense (DoD) facilities to house the unaccompanied alien children (UAC) swarming our borders.
July 7, 2014 Weekly Columns

While it initially went unnoticed, there is now a very apparent crisis at our borders. Instigated by the failed policy of the Administration, thousands of unaccompanied illegal minors are swarming our borders at the hands of cartels, crossing into our country, overwhelming our facilities and then rarely being returned to their countries of origin. Unless the president enforces our existing immigration laws, the situation will only worsen. 

June 20, 2014 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) joined Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers and several other subcommittee chairs from the Appropriations Committee in sending a letter to President Barack Obama that opposes his handling of the surge of unaccompanied illegal minors crossing our borders. This population of individuals, usually from Central America, has grown from 6,000 in 2011 to 66,000 last year. By next year, this number is projected to climb as high as 150,000.
June 20, 2014 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Several senior members of Congressional Committees with jurisdiction over border and immigration issues today sent a joint letter to President Barack Obama, demanding immediate action from federal agencies on the immigration crisis at the Southwest border.
June 19, 2014 Speech
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) offered an amendment yesterday to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2015 on the House floor. The amendment responded to the Administration’s inappropriate use of military bases, including Fort Sill in Lawton, for housing illegal unaccompanied minors.
June 15, 2014 News Stories

The Oklahoman - Silas Allen

A day after the first wave of unaccompanied immigrant children began arriving at Fort Sill, U.S. Rep. Tom Cole blamed President Barack Obama for the predicament.

Speaking to a group of journalists and publishers Saturday, Cole, R-Moore, said Obama had failed to stanch the flow of people, including unaccompanied children, entering the country illegally across the U.S.-Mexico border.

“This is not a humanitarian crisis,” Cole said. “This is a policy failure.”

June 13, 2014 News Stories

The Oklahoman - Editorial Board

Over the course of this year, as many as 90,000 minors fleeing crime- and poverty-ridden Central American countries could be given haven in the United States. Few will ever return to their homeland, prompting U.S. Rep. Tom Cole to say this week: “We need to have some frank policy discussions.”

June 10, 2014 News Stories

The Oklahoman - Rick Green and Chris Casteel

Hundreds of young people who came across the southern U.S. border illegally are expected to begin arriving this week at Fort Sill, where they will be housed temporarily.

“Our target date to begin receiving children at Fort Sill is Friday, June 13,” Kenneth J. Wolfe, spokesman for the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said Monday.

June 9, 2014 News Stories

KFOR - Jesse Wells

A plan to house hundreds of illegal immigrants at an Oklahoma military base comes under fire.

Officials at Fort Sill announced they would help house somewhere between 600 and 1,200 children.

Those kids are in our country illegally.

That’s sparked two criticisms from Republicans.

They don’t like military bases being used for non military needs and they’re critical of President Obama’s immigration policies.

“It is alarming to have 1200 children in a military installation,” said governor Mary Fallin.

June 9, 2014 News Stories

News9 - Michael Konopasek

Questions remained unanswered late Monday over what will come of more than 600 illegal juvenile immigrants on their way to Oklahoma from Texas and Arizona.

Federal officials said the children, who could be living at Ft. Sill for up to four months, could be at the post as early as Tuesday morning.

"As far as the financial [impact], it's putting more [of a] burden here," Lawton resident Cedric Lax said.