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As former Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I put the issue of illegal immigration on the national agenda in 2005 with the introduction of the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act, which passed the House of Representatives.  The legislation aimed to secure our nation’s borders, crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants and increase the penalties against people who smuggle illegal immigrants.  We need to address the porousness of America’s southern border that enables illegal-alien activity and increases the national security threat posed by terrorists and other vicious criminals.  I support the construction of a fence along the most high-traffic border areas, and incorporating state-of-the-art surveillance technology to ensure comprehensive coverage.

Inside our borders, I believe we must eliminate the job magnet that brings illegal immigrants into our country and hold those here illegally accountable for their actions.  I supported the creation of E-Verify, an employer verification system that helps American employers ensure that they are hiring a legal workforce.  Since enacted, the program has greatly benefited employers and employees alike —more than 500,000 employers nationwide participate in E-Verify, with 1,400 new employers signing up weekly.

Most importantly, we must not provide amnesty for illegal immigrants, which would encourage future illegal immigration by retroactively rewarding illegal behavior and allowing those who have broken the law to receive billions in public benefits. This would encumber our current welfare system at every level of government, increase taxes for all Americans, and raid the Social Security trust fund of billions of dollars needed to pay for the retirement of U.S. citizens.
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