I want to take this opportunity to update you on the illegal immigration issue with regard to the new presidential administration.
It looks like the pro-amnesty crowd will not let this issue go away, and many immigration advocates believe that President elect-Obama will fulfill his campaign promises relating to amnesty and immigration raids. Pro-immigration groups are planning to gather during the inauguration to ensure that Mr. Obama knows that his supporters heavily favor immigration reform.
As the Chairman of the Border Security and Enforcement First Caucus, I and many other like-minded Senators are ready to fight to ensure that the voices of the majority of the American people are heard. I believe that illegal immigration must be controlled, and I am firmly opposed to amnesty. Amnesty sends the wrong message – that of a reward – to those who have been evading our laws and it is extremely unfair to all of the legal immigrants who came to this nation and obeyed our laws to become citizens.
At a time when the American economy is suffering the last thing the federal government needs is the higher price tag that amnesty will bring. It is estimated that more than 500,000 individuals illegally cross our southwestern border each year. At this rate, the amount of federally-subsidize d benefits for illegal aliens will only continue to grow.
What we need is attrition through enforcement ‑ the idea that living illegally in the United States will become more difficult and less satisfying over time when the government – at ALL LEVELS – enforces all of the laws already on the books. We know attrition through enforcement works because, in states that have passed tough new laws to penalize employers of and deny public benefits to illegal aliens, the illegals have begun to move out of those states, often before the new laws are even implemented. As it currently stands, almost 200,000 illegal aliens self-deport from the United States every year, but many more would leave if we refused to award illegal aliens further amnesty, mandated that all employers must verify a person’s eligibility to work here, cracked down on identity fraud and enabled local police to easily transfer illegal aliens in their custody to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.
Rest assured ‑ as the U.S. Senate debates the issues regarding illegal immigration, I will continue fighting to make sure that the voices of all Louisianans are heard.