Illegal immigration is not a new problem. Actually, we are facing our current situation -- some estimates projecting 12 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S. -- because this country has failed to enact solid border security measures to stop the problem before it begins. In the waning hours of Congressional session last week, the Senate finally followed the House's lead to get tough on securing our border. The Senate passed a bill the House earlier approved allowing for 700 miles of two-layered, physical fence to be built on the U.S.-Mexico border and a virtual fence to be installed along the entire border. With that passage, we have taken the first step in enacting real and tangible border security.

It was long past time that Congress stop just talking about border security and get tough and I look forward to President Bush signing the bill into law as soon as it arrives at the White House. While this is a good first step, I will continue to push for stronger enforcement of our immigration laws. We owe it to our current and future generations of Americans to do all we can to ensure our national security and economy are not threatened by a weak and unenforceable border. We can enforce our laws on the border if we continue providing the right tools to our border agents. Congress still has a lot of work to do to address illegal immigration, one step at a time. I plan to push for those forward steps when Congress returns to session next month.