Immigration Reform Needs Security and Not Amnesty

Last night, President Bush addressed the nation to discuss the important issue of border security and illegal immigration. The President's comprehensive approach to reforming our immigration system meets America's border and interior security needs while providing a rational, non-amnesty temporary worker program. I have seen the imminent problems on our border and it is obvious that the current situation is not sustainable. Our immigration system is broken and it is desperately in need of an overhaul. The National Guard will provide a supportive, temporary, non-law enforcement role in securing the border and then it will be up to us in Congress to develop a long-term solution.

I am hopeful that this deployment will soften opposition from 'enforcement only' advocates in Congress and encourage them to work toward a comprehensive solution. As the Senate resumes debate on immigration legislation, I encourage them to include a non-amnesty temporary worker program that is citizenship neutral. Meaningful immigration reform must consist of much more than just added boots on the ground, taller fences and improved technology. It will require changing how people can enter the country legally. President Bush has stood firm in his belief that we must enforce the rule of law in this country and do so in a manner that is compassionate and respectful of human dignity. A solution can be reached, but we must set aside our prejudices, biases and fears in order to do so.