Former Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner,
Jr. (R-Menomonee Falls), introduced a bill today that offers real solutions to
end illegal immigration. Among its provisions, Sensenbrenner’s bill includes
proposals to secure the nation’s borders, crack down on employers who hire
illegal immigrants, increase the penalties against people who smuggle in illegal
immigrants, and double the number of H1-B
visas issued each year.
In 2005, Sensenbrenner successfully placed immigration reform on the national
agenda with the introduction of HR 4437, the Border Protection, Antiterrorism,
and Illegal Immigration Control Act. Although the bill passed the House by a vote
of 239-182, the Senate failed to act on it. “America’s problem with
illegal immigration did not end with November’s elections,” said Sensenbrenner.
“While many of my colleagues have expended a lot of hot air discussing the
issue this year, they have side-stepped the crux of the matter. In doing so, these
people have continued to ignore the calls of the American public on this very
emotional and complex matter.”
“In a survey I conducted this summer of the Fifth District, most of my constituents
made it clear that they believe illegal immigration to be the greatest threat
to the security of the United States today,” Sensenbrenner continued. “That
means immigration reform is an issue that needs to be resolved now, not years
from now, during the second term of a Democratic presidency, as has been suggested
by Congressman Rahm Emanuel, Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.”
“To eliminate this threat to our nation, we must eliminate illegal entry,”
added Sensenbrenner. “To do that, we must concentrate on tightening up our
loose borders, and turning off the job magnet that attracts illegal immigrants
to the US.”
Sensenbrenner’s new bill contains components of HR 4437. Highlights of the
Sensenbrenner concluded, “I have steadfastly fought for immigration reform
since long before 2005. The bill I introduced today further fine-tunes my past
attempts at immigration reform in order to better respond to the needs of the
American people. While I expect members of the media -- most of who seem to be
in cahoots with the pro illegal immigrant lobby -- to be critical of my legislation,
I hope they recognize that my bill offers concrete remedies to a multitude of
complicated issues that make this such a volatile and emotional subject.”
- Securing our border -- Strengthens border enforcement,
by providing increased funds, and proper tools and training, while mandating
detention and expedited removal of illegal immigrants apprehended at the border.
- Holding employers accountable for hiring illegal immigrants
-- Decreases the prevalence of false Social Security Numbers (SSN) by mandating
employers submit the SSNs of their workers to the Social Security Administration
(SSA). In the event of a discrepant number, the SSA would notify the employer
via a “No Match” letter, whereupon the employer would be required
to verify the employee’s identification. Failure on the part of employers
to act on this would result in severe penalties.
- Cracking down on fraudulent forms of identification --
Makes it more difficult for illegal immigrants to create fraudulent visas
and other forms of identification by strengthening the penalties for those
who are found with, or have aided in creating, fraudulent forms of identification.
- Eliminating the distorted system of Congressional allotment
-- Changes the current system which counts illegal immigrants as part of the
total population when determining the number of congressional districts in
a state. Illegal immigrants, who reside in the US illegally, should not be
counted for the purpose of determining the number of Representatives assigned
to a particular state.
- Ensuring temporary agriculture workers remain temporary
-- Reforms the H-2A visa program to ensure temporary workers do not overstay
their visas by not permitting them to bring family members with them, and
allowing the market to determine the number of temporary agriculture workers
- Doubling the number of H1-B visas -- Increases the quantity
of H1-B visas for skilled workers to 130,000.
- Increases penalties for illegal immigrant smuggling --
Establishes mandatory minimum sentences of one year for those caught smuggling
illegal immigrants into the US.