In 1986, Reagan signed legislation that granted amnesty to nearly 3 million illegal immigrants and called for tougher border enforcement. But that promised tougher border enforcement never happened, and Brooks said Reagan would learn from that lesson were he in office today.


"What would President Reagan do? For one thing, we would not repeat the mistakes of the past, including those of his own administration," Brooks said.

"He knew that secure borders are vital and would now insist on meeting that priority first. He would seek to strengthen the enforcement of existing immigration laws."

Brooks said the "fair" policy would be to force all illegal immigrants to return home, combined with "serious enforcement and control of the illegal inflow at the border." He said the country must also recognize the value of legal immigration.

Several House Republicans have come out against a bipartisan Senate proposal on immigration, by arguing that it would reward people in the country illegally and not do enough to enforce the border.