TCC Chairman Peter J. Thomas has sent the following letter to House Judiciary Chairman Robert (Bob) Goodlatte.
Dear Chairman Goodlatte:
I want to commend you for the hearings held by your committee last week regarding the surge in illegal immigration, as well as for the statements in your June 20 email supporting increased border security and opposing amnesty for lawbreakers.
However, I urge you to focus your border security efforts on actual and verified results, rather than the amount of money appropriated or spent. Too often it has been assumed that merely spending large sums of money on more personnel, more fences, and more gadgets will be sufficient to guarantee that only a very few people will be able to slip through our border with Mexico and enter the United States.
Years later, despite vastly increased spending, we see that the border is not yet secure and illegal immigration is even on the rise. One of the great flaws of the Senate bill, S. 744, was its assumption that the border could be considered automatically secure once a plan was in place for yet more spending. This approach must be firmly rejected.
Instead, any border security bill should have clear standards by which its success (or failure) can be measured, and goals which must be met. Each spending program should be rigorously evaluated each year to determine if it is making a significant difference in reducing illegal immigration. Unsuccessful programs should be identified and terminated.
It may be that we will find it is not possible to secure the entirety of such a long border, much of it running through mountains and deserts. That makes it all the more essential that great emphasis be put on preventing illegal aliens from obtaining employment in the United States. An effective system for verifying the legal status of job applicants, and strong enforcement against employers who knowingly violate the law may well be more important than what is done on the border.
Your opposition to amnesty appears to be unequivocal, but I must remind you that the any bill which allows illegal aliens to remain in the United States and gain legal status must be called amnesty. The solution proposed by some, allowing illegal immigrants to stay and work but not become citizens, is clearly a form of amnesty. It protects them from the legal penalty for their crime, the penalty of deportation. It appears that many and perhaps most illegal aliens have little interest in American citizenship and are primarily concerned about gaining legal status to work here. This must not be permitted.
I will be following the activity of your committee, and I hope that The Conservative Caucus will be able to give its full support to the legislation you send to the full House.
Peter J. Thomas