I had previously sent emails (sorry but I did not save a copy) to both of my senators and my congressman regarding my "displeasure" with the Congress' actions (or lack thereof) on illegal immigration. I have received one form-letter email from Senator Frist, nothing from Senator Alexander, then today I received this email from my Congressman:
Comprehensive legislation is needed first and foremost to secure our borders, particularly part of our southern border, which has become a lawless environment. The Senate is currently working on a bill to address illegal immigration, which in part responds to the bill the House passed last December.
We should secure our border first and enforce the immigration laws that already exist, but have been ignored. The House bill, which I strongly supported, requires mandatory detention for all illegal immigrants who are apprehended. We have begun a "catch and return" policy so that illegal immigrants are not released in the United States after apprehension.
Of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants currently in the United States , many are providing useful services through the labor they provide. But we must have a system of laws that honors legal immigration and does not reward anyone who came here illegally.
Granting amnesty to illegal aliens dishonors immigrants who came here through the legal channels. I know stories of people who came here legally, worked for years and paid hard earned dollars to become legal immigrants. Congress must honor the hard work and effort of legal immigrants and create a better system to encourage people to seek legal immigration.
I will support tough, strong, effective immigration reform that secures our borders, implements enforceable immigration laws and then create a new "guest worker" program. But at the same time, we must continue to be a nation that encourages people from around the world to come here legally and join our country. If an immigrant honors our laws and is willing to pull the wagon instead of just riding in it, he should be welcome here. It's the American way.
Member of Congress
Below is my response to my congressman's apparently rehearsed reply:
Dear Congressman Wamp,
Thank you very much for your response to my email to you regarding the issue of illegal immigration. I wholeheartedly agree with the need to secure our borders and enforce the immigration laws on the books. But that is kind of hard with the Border Patrol having been stretched so thin for so many years and them receiving mixed messages from our elected leaders, don't you think? Want to secure the border? Mobilize the National Guard in the interim while we build regular miltary bases. Once those are complete, rotate miltary units through them and give them strict orders to detain and prosecute anyone illegally entering the country. While this may seem a violation of Posse Comitatus, in spirit it is not, because they will be securing our national borders from what any casual observer would label as an invasion, and not pursuing internal law enforcement. It would be no less than what the Mexicans do on their border. I would love to see a Congressional commitee try to enter into Mexico illegally and get caught. I think it would be a real eye-opener for our elected officials.
Ronald Reagan pushed for, and got, amnesty in 1986. If anything, it only made it more attractive for illegals to start pouring over the border. The root of the problem is the corrupt Mexican government and the caste system of [only] rich and poor it perpetually propagates. The illegal immigrants come here because it is easier than trying to change their government. But why should they try to better Mexico when they can come here and "ride the wagon" as you put it?
I'm all for legal immigration, but when the laws were first created Congress realized that our country could only absorb so many immigrants at a time without adversely affecting our economy. We have had a "guest worker" program for many years in the form of green cards. There is no need to keep legislating the issue over and over. Enforce the laws already on the books and illegal immigration could be stopped, and our country's national security would be all the better for it.
A lot of those in Congress seem to keep missing the "illegal" part in the immigration debate. It is currently a felony for persons to enter the country illegally, but now Senator Frist and others want that changed where it is only a misdemeanor. That is the biggest crock of BS I have heard of. If a person breaks our laws to enter this country, they should be finger-printed, photographed, and deported back to their country or origin, without any future chance of becoming a legal immigrant and a final warning that their next attempt will cost them 20 years at hard labor in a Federal Prison, only to be deported again when they serve their time. Why on earth should we expect those who break our laws in coming here to obey them once they are here? Take a good hard look at our country's criminal statistics with regards to the illegals and you will see they are all not just coming here and doing "the jobs no American wants".
For those illegals already here, let's cut off the free (to them, but not the American taxpayers) medical care, education, and welfare benefits they have come to expect from "working the system". Let's also go after the employers of illegal immigrants - fine them $100,000 for every illegal immigrant they get caught employing, and use those monies to start building walls on the borders to keep other illegals out. If a business keeps getting caught breaking the law, put the CEO in Federal Prison for 20 years (and let him help build those border walls). I guarantee you the problem with illegal immigration will stop very quickly. Now everyone says that a head of lettuce would cost five dollars or more if we did that, but I am certain it wouldn't. Market forces would prevail when most people refused to pay it and grew their own, and then some bright entrepreneur would come up with a way to reduce the costs. That is also the American way. It boils my blood no end for Senator John McCain to have gotten up in front of a bunch of American workers and tell them they couldn't do that job for $50 an hour.
I apologize for the rant Congressman, but it is time for Congress to quit voting themselves pay raises and ignoring the issues of the common American they were elected to address. If the current Congress does not wish to listen to the collective voice of the people of America, then it is due time they get fired and replaced by those who will.
Thank you again for your time and attention to this issue.
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Well guys, did I miss anything?