Congressman Michael Turner | Proudly Serving Ohio's 10th District

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Immigration Legislation Important for Economic and National Security

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Washington, Jul 25, 2008 | Adam Murka (202-225-6465) | comments
Mike Turner Immigration Column SAVE
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Immigration Legislation Important for Economic and National Security
By Congressman Michael Turner

Illegal immigration is one of the most important issues facing America today.  I am committed to reducing the flow of illegal immigration into our country through securing our borders and greater enforcement of existing laws.

For this reason, I have cosponsored H.R. 4088, the Secure America through Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act and signed a discharge petition to force a vote in the House of Representatives on this bipartisan bill.  The SAVE Act provides a three-pronged approach to enhance border security, expand employee verification, and improve enforcement of our Nation’s existing laws. 

The SAVE Act strengthens our borders by hiring 8,000 new Customs and Border Patrol agents and also provides the necessary funding to properly train and equip them.  This legislation invests heavily in infrastructure improvements at the borders to help our officers do their job more effectively. These improvements include constructing agent facilities, fences, and road barriers in remote zones. 

It also improves our technological capabilities along the borders by providing drones, infrared cameras, sensors, and mobile lighting units—all critical tools our Border Patrol agents need to protect our country.  These measures will help prevent drug traffickers, human smugglers, illegal aliens, and terrorists from unlawfully entering the United States. By securing our border we can ensure that we have a fair system of employment for all workers and businesses.

While the SAVE Act has a strong emphasis on border security and interior enforcement, the real thrust of this legislation deals with employment verification. This bill would create an E-Verify program that would utilize new technology and infrastructure to require that all businesses verify through an online database the legal residency of its employees. It expands the current E-Verify program, which 80,000 businesses are already using voluntarily, over a four-year period.  The current system puts E-Verify users at an economic disadvantage if their competitors hire illegal aliens.  The E-Verify program would give employers a universal, simple, and effective system to ensure that their employees are legally authorized to work in the United States.

The SAVE Act would ensure that state and local law enforcement are properly supported, trained, and equipped to secure and protect our nation’s borders. I will continue to support meaningful immigration policies such as the SAVE Act that help to secure our borders, protect the rule of law, and keep our citizens safe.

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