For several years now, I have called for a comprehensive immigration plan which meets five goals: strengthening border security, enforcing laws against hiring illegal immigrants, enhancing a limited temporary worker program, opposing amnesty, and prioritizing the entry of highly skilled immigrants. The plan announced by members of the U.S. Senate does indeed meet four of my five points however; it falls very flat on the merits of opposing amnesty.

Two years before I entered the House, Congress concluded what was then considered the final chapter of our immigration crisis when it approved the Simpson-Mazzoli Act. At the time, our nation had 3 million illegal immigrants who were given amnesty with a promise to the American people that strong border security would ensure the influx of illegal immigrants came to an end. Today, with an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants inside the United States, clearly amnesty is the wrong policy for our country.

For the past two years, the immigration legislation passed by the U.S. House has fallen into a deep abyss in the Senate. While I am encouraged that the Senate is taking a leadership role on this issue, I look forward to the opportunity for the House to debate the future of our immigration policy and return some sense to this debate.