Dr. Boozman's Check-up

A framework for bipartisan immigration reform was unveiled in the Senate this week.  While no specific bill was introduced as part of this announcement, the proposal as outlined—among other things— aims to increase border security, provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, create an effective employment verification system to prevent identity theft and end hiring of unauthorized workers.

I am glad that members on both sides of the aisle are involved in serious reform discussions. In terms of the content, I was pleased to see it included employment verification and resources for border control. However, the way we deal with illegal immigrants and their economic impact is a big question that needs to be addressed. I commend my colleagues for seeking to address this important question, but I believe we are going to need numerous in-depth conversations about the proper course of action before we see this framework turned into legislation.

In the meantime, some of these outlined proposals can be accomplished now with current legislation. For instance, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) will likely be reintroducing his E-verify bill, a bill that have I have co-sponsored in the past and will again, which would take care of the employment verification system aspect of this larger comprehensive proposal.

The reality is this problem exists because we have immigration laws on the books that are not being enforced. After years of extreme neglect by the federal government, our nation is facing an immigration crisis. Federal laws go unenforced, leaving cash-strapped local and state governments to fend for themselves and use resources they do not have to absorb millions of illegal immigrants. Adding more rules to the books without enforcing the ones we have will do little good in the long run.

One thing is certain: if the President insists on amnesty we aren’t going to get very far. Amnesty is a non-starter. We must not reward people for breaking the law. I will continue to oppose amnesty proposals and I remain committed to working towards a real solution that addresses the crisis at our borders.

I look forward to participating in a bipartisan Senate discussion and we have already begun discussing ideas about how to move forward.

Read more about my views on how to solve our problem with illegal immigration here.