During immigration rallies and the upcoming immigration debate, it is important that we distinguish between legal and illegal immigration.  Americans welcome the opportunity to provide a chance to achieve the American Dream to those who follow the appropriate channels and come here legally.

This summer, I toured areas 75 miles north of the Mexican border - that's right, 75 miles - where illegals have positioned "lookers" in the hill tops, better armed than US law enforcement, to monitor the movements of those same law enforcement agents and communicate via radio to coyotes and drug smugglers the best routes to avoid US law enforcement.

We need to know who is here and who is playing by the rules via thorough background checks. Real immigration reform must begin by first securing our borders before we have a serious conversation of what to do with the more than 12 million illegal immigrants already here.  Each of these 12 million individuals disregarded the legal immigration process to come here, and each is a testament to the fact that our borders are not as safe and secure as they should be.  Border security is homeland security and this is especially true in a post 9/11 environment.

Every sovereign nation has a right and an obligation to defend its border and enforce its laws. America can not and will not be an exception.

Any legislative solution to the illegal immigration problem must center on measures designed to prevent future illegal immigration.  As lawmakers, we must protect the generations of Americans who came here the right way and defend America's hardworking taxpayers with a principle of prevention -- secure our borders.

I plan to listen to the American people, and I will not give in to a weak compromise that offers amnesty to illegal immigrants and fails to adequately secure our border.  It is my hope to send a bill to the President that reflects the principles of the people in Central Florida.