Paul Ryan on Immigration
Republican nominee for Vice President; U.S. Rep. (WI-1)
REP. PAUL RYAN: Yes, I do. Otherwise the humanitarian crisis will continue. Otherwise families in countries far away, on the other side of Mexico will be giving thousands of dollars to traffickers to take their children over the border and the humanitarian crisis will get worse. So I do believe we need to amend this law, which never intended for this to happen, to make sure that you can treat people in noncontiguous countries just like we do Mexicans and Canadians so that we can stop this crisis.
RYAN: We don't know who's coming and going in this country. We don't have control of our border. We don't have control of interior enforcement. Here's the issue that all Republicans agree on--we don't trust the president to enforce the law. So if you actually look at the standards that the Republican leadership put out: first we have to secure the border, have interior enforcement, which is a worker verification system, a visa tracking program. Those things have to be in law, in practice and independently verified before the rest of the law can occur. So it's a security force first, non-amnesty approach.
RYAN: This is not one of those issues where it has some kind of a deadline behind it, like, say, a government shutdown, which forces us into a compromise we might not like to take. This is a "here are our standards; this is what we're willing to do." And we're still having a debate in our caucus about even that. But we don't think that we can allow this border to continue to be overrun. And if we can get security first, no amnesty, before anything happens, we think that's a good approach. This is not a trust but verify, this is a verify then trust approach.
Q: Can you put something on the president's desk that he can sign?
RYAN: I really don't know the answer to that question. It depends on whether we can do that, where it's security first, no amnesty, then we might be able to get somewhere.
RYAN: I disagree that we should approach this issue based on what's right for us politically. We should approach this issue on what we think is the right thing to do. We have been listening to the American people. So what we're going to do is take a step-by-step approach to get immigration right, not a big massive bill. Number one, we don't have control of our border. And we need interior enforcement to know who's coming and going. And right now, people come to this country based on family relations, not based on skills. Most other countries have a legal immigration system that's good for their country, we should do the same. And when it comes to the undocumented, people who came here illegally, we want to give people a chance to get right with the law while not doing an amnesty. Pay fines, pay back taxes, get a background check, learn English, learn civics.
RYAN: Yes, absolutely, because we think there's a way to do this through earned legalization without rewarding people for having come in with undocumented status, illegally. We don't want to give them an advantage over those who came here legally and we think there's a way to do this while still respecting the rule of law. It's clear that what the president is talking about does not do that. I have a long record of immigration reform. I'm not a Johnny-come-lately on this issue. We've always believed that there is a way of doing this while respecting the rule of law, that's the delicate balance that needs to be achieved for this to be bipartisan and the president on most of these issues and this one now, like the others, seems to be looking for a partisan advantage and not bringing the parties together.
Proponents support voting YES because:
It is obvious there is no more defining issue in our Nation today than stopping illegal immigration. The most basic obligation of any government is to secure the Nation's borders. One issue in which there appears to be a consensus between the Senate and the House is on the issue of building a secure fence. So rather than wait until comprehensive legislation is enacted, we should move forward on targeted legislation which is effective and meaningful. The legislation today provides over 700 miles of two-layered reinforced fencing, and for the rest of the border provides a virtual fence, via integrated surveillance technology.
Opponents support voting NO because:
Just to build the fence is going to cost us at least $7 billion. Where is the money coming from to pay for it? How much is it going to cost to maintain this 700-mile fence? Who is going to do it? This bill contains no funding.
This bill also ignores real enforcement measures, like hiring more Border Patrol personnel, and instead builds a Berlin Wall on our southern border. So long as employers need workers in this country, and while our immigration systems impede rather than facilitate timely access of willing workers to those opportunities, undocumented immigration will never be controlled.
Walls, barriers, and military patrols will only force those immigrants to utilize ever more dangerous routes and increase the number of people who die in search of an opportunity to feed and clothe their families.
None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to provide a foreign government information relating to the activities of an organized volunteer civilian action group, operating in the State of California, Texas, New Mexico, or Arizona, unless required by international treaty.
The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is a national, non-profit, public interest membership organization of concerned citizens united by their belief in the need for immigration reform. Founded in 1979, FAIR believes that the U.S. can and must have an immigration policy that is non-discriminatory and designed to serve the environmental, economic, and social needs of our country.
FAIR seeks to improve border security, to stop illegal immigration, and to promote immigration levels consistent with the national interestómore traditional rates of about 300,000 a year.
With more than 70,000 members nationwide, FAIR is a non-partisan group whose membership runs the gamut from liberal to conservative.
The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Sen. McCAIN: This bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform legislation is designed to fix our Nation's broken immigration system. While in previous years we worked independently on immigration reform legislation, we are coming together today to introduce what we believe is groundbreaking, comprehensive legislation. Over a year ago, the President laid out a framework for what comprehensive immigration reform should look like. We have used the President's framework to craft this package.
The simple fact is that America's immigration system is broken. Recent vigilante activities along the southwestern border have shown that the current situation is not sustainable. Americans are frustrated with our lack of border security and our inability to control illegal immigration.
Make no mistake, this is not an amnesty bill. We are not here to reward law-breakers, and any accusations to the contrary are patently untrue. This bill recognizes the problems inherent in the current system and provides a logical and effective means to address these problems. It would be impossible to identify and round up all 10 to 11 million of the current undocumented, and if we did, it would ground our Nation's economy to a halt. These millions of people are working. Aliens will not come forward to simply "report and deport." We have a national interest in identifying these individuals, incentivizing them to come forward out of the shadows, go through security background checks, pay back taxes, pay penalties for breaking the law, learn to speak English, and regularize their status. Anyone who thinks this goal can be achieved without providing an eventual path to a permanent legal status is not serious about solving this problem.
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on the Judiciary; never came to a vote. [The famous McCain-Kennedy legislation which DID come to a vote was the 2007 version of this bill].
OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 USBC scores as follows:
U.S. Border Control, founded in 1988, is a non-profit, tax-exempt, citizen's lobby. USBC is dedicated to ending illegal immigration by securing our nation's borders and reforming our immigration policies. USBC [works with] Congressmen to stop amnesty; seal our borders against terrorism and illegal immigration; and, preserve our nation's language, culture and American way of life for future generations.
Our organization accepts no financial support from any branch of government. All our support comes from concerned citizens who appreciate the work we are doing to seal our borders against drugs, disease, illegal migration and terrorism and wish to preserve our nation's language, culture and heritage for the next generations.
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