Issue Position: Immigration
Our district in Southeastern Arizona has paid a heavy price for the burden of illegal immigration.
It is imperative that we secure the border now. We can effectively solve this crisis by working across party lines to produce real results for the American people. In particular, we need:
* increased border security using modern-era technology, including radar, drones and electronic surveillance,
* additional Border Patrol agents and improved support for these agents with better training and equipment,
* tough employer sanctions for employers who are knowingly hiring illegal immigrants, and
* a guest worker program, so that people can come in, work legally and safely, and return back to their home countries.
Border security is homeland security. I believe that a safe and smart border helps make our whole nation more secure.
It is extremely unfortunate that the Senate voted to end debate on immigration reform legislation in June. Doing nothing to address our nation's immigration crisis is irresponsible. Southern Arizona confronts the many negative impacts of illegal immigration every day. I will not relent in my efforts to find ways to ease the burden placed on our local law enforcement, health and social service agencies and public schools.
In the House, I am continuing to pursue every opportunity to address the burdens we face as a result of illegal immigration. This includes adding more Border Patrol agents and technology to secure our border and fighting to fully fund the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), a federal program that reimburses local law enforcement agencies for the apprehension and detention of illegal immigrants. In July, I successfully lobbied the House Appropriations Committee to provide $405 million for SCAAP--$30 million more than originally designated.
Since the start of my term in Congress, I have been meeting with community leaders, elected officials and residents to learn how illegal immigration affects their every day lives. Receiving letters from constituents, like you, also guides my work. This information is very helpful as I educate and persuade my colleagues to take on this complicated economic, social and public safety issue. The fight for comprehensive immigration reform goes on and it will remain my top priority in Congress.