Long’s Short Report – An America first immigration system
By Rep. Billy Long
Last month, I had the honor of speaking at a naturalization ceremony at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield where I welcomed 54 new U.S. citizens. As I watched each one of these men and women take the Oath of Allegiance, I was reminded once again of how great our country is and the importance of the rule of law. These brave individuals came to this country legally and abided by our immigration system. Sadly, that’s becoming less and less common.
As Democrats continue to take no action, the crisis at the southern border will only get worse. This April, over 109,000 illegal immigrants, 10,000 of those being unaccompanied minors, arrived at the southern border. This was a five percent increase from March. To make matters even worse, apprehensions at the southern border were up 590 percent compared to last April.
Last week, I was present at the White House as President Trump laid out his plan to fix our broken immigration system that hasn’t been comprehensively reformed since the 1960s. His two-part approach includes securing the border and reforming the system.
President Trump’s plan would create a self-sustaining border security fund, which would be funded by fees and revenues collected at ports of entry. This money would go towards fully securing our border and ensuring that all goods and individuals crossing are properly inspected.
For too long, our outdated immigration laws have allowed people crossing our borders to exploit our system, increasing the number of illegal activities. President Trump’s plan would close these loopholes, allow legitimate asylum seekers the due process they deserve and send the abusers back home.
In the U.S., nearly 70 percent of immigrants came based on family relationships rather than merit. President Trump’s plan would change that, creating a point-based system focusing only on skill or merit. This system would protect American workers who continue to be hurt by an immigration system that lowers their wages by setting wage floors and recruitment requirements.
President Trump’s plan is a common-sense solution to a problem that has only gotten worse over the years. I support the president and will continue to do my part in Congress by advocating for comprehensive immigration reform that puts America first.
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