Right now, our immigration process is confusing, inconsistent, and inhumane. That confusion incentivizes immigrants to come into our country the wrong way. We need to unmuddy the waters and create a path to citizenship that makes potential immigrants part of the process.
Because Congress has failed to act over the last 30 years, the US now has more than 11 million undocumented workers. Simply deporting all of those individuals is not practical, would be incredibly expensive and difficult to accomplish.
The idea of illegal immigrants receiving federal benefits like food stamps or Social Security is unacceptable to most Americans. We welcome legal immigrants who can contribute to these programs and in turn can receive benefits. But if you have not paid into the programs, and you are not legally in this country, you should not be allowed to receive benefits.
Not surprisingly, it is illegal already for illegal immigrants to receive federal benefits. Since the rule of law is under assault by the Obama administration, particularly when it comes to immigration, it is unlikely DHS would even start checking immigration status on their own initiative. That is why I recently introduced the VERIFI Act, which would require an individual's immigration status to be checked before receiving any benefits.
Jerry Moran criticized Tiahrt during the debate for past support of proposals to allow some illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses and to make it easier for some to pay lower college tuition. Tiahrt said his views shifted as he consulted with Kansans and studied the issue. Moran endorsed the new Arizona law and derided the Obama administration's challenge as "a silly waste of taxpayer dollars."
Tiahrt said Moran opposed federal legislation to block cities from making themselves sanctuaries for illegal immigrants, citing Moran's vote against a 2003 bill to cut off federal funds to cities that wouldn't allow law enforcement to share information. "I've voted numerous times in support of eliminating sanctuary cities," Moran refuted. "That's a terrible idea. It's wrong."
Jerry Moran criticized Tiahrt during the debate for past support of proposals to allow some illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses and to make it easier for some to pay lower college tuition. Tiahrt said his views shifted as he consulted with Kansans and studied the issue. Tiahrt acknowledged he once supported proposals on tuition and driver's licenses; Moran's staff noted Tiahrt co-sponsored legislation in 2001 and 2003. "I thought it was compassionate to not punish the children for the parents' sins." Tiahrt said. "But I've come to the conclusion that we must build the fence, that we must say 'no' to amnesty."
Tiahrt said he also wants to stop printing bilingual election ballots, a practice he said encourages people to come to the US illegally.
Tiahrt said his position could be made clear in three words--"Build the fence." He repeated the phrase 4 more times during the debate. He criticized Moran for supporting the idea of bilingual ballots and for voting in favor of the children's health insurance reauthorization, which, in addition to providing millions to states for low-income children, also made it more difficult to deny coverage to children of illegal immigrants.
Tiahrt said his previous support for making it easier for children of illegal immigrants to receive tuition was done out of a belief that it "was compassionate not to punish the kids of immigrants." Since then, he changed his mind. "We must say no to amnesty and build the fence," he said.
|2016 Presidential contenders on Immigration:|
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
2016 Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
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