The first step in revamping our immigration system is border security and enforcement. Congress should pursue an “all of the above” approach, which includes building a wall where it makes sense and applying advanced border security technologies in other places. The failure to secure our borders encourages the cartels to exploit and prosper from trafficking drugs and human beings into the U.S. If we secure our borders we will protect human beings from further exploitation, crack down on human trafficking, cut the flow of drugs into the U.S. and make communities in the U.S. and Mexico safer. We have seen what happens when or borders are not secure, and it serves no one except the cartels.
To truly secure the border, we need to have strong interior enforcement that includes removing magnets and pursuing visa overstays. While there is no definitive number, visa overstays account for a vast number of illegal immigrants. A recent report from the Department of Homeland Security said that more people overstayed their visas in 2017 than crossed into the United States illegally that year. A visa overstay occurs when someone enters the U.S. on a visa, but does not leave within the prescribed period of time on their visa. Implementing a biometric entry-exit system approved by Congress in 2004 is something we should fulfill.
We must also uphold the rule of law, starting with blocking federal funds to sanctuary cities and implementing E-Verify. We need to remove the magnet that inspires illegal immigration and close loopholes in our laws that human traffickers take advantage of, along with addressing the backlog in asylum cases due to a shortage of immigration court judges.
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