By John Wallace, Candidate for Congress
I believe that the proposed SAVE Act is a middle-ground answer to the illegal immigration issue. Pools show most Americans, when given the choice among (a) mass roundups and mass deportations, (b) mass legalizations, and (c) Attrrition Through Enforcement and Self-Deportation, oftentimes choose the middle ground “Attrition option” which is what the proposed bill by Representative Heath Shuler (D-NC) offers.
The principle behind Attrition Through Enforcement is to make it more diffulult for illegal aliens to live in the United States when the government, at all levels, enforces all of the laws already on the books. It is also imperative that the government with the full cooperation of the private sector, implements certain workplace enforcement measures. The goal is to make it extremely difficult for unauthorized persons to live and work in the United States.
We know “Attrition Through Enforcement” works because, in states that have recently passed tough new laws to penalize employers of and deny public benefits to illegal aliens, the illegal aliens began to move out of those states, often before the new laws are even implemented.
Among many detailed border security provisions stressing more agents and better technology at minimal operating costs, the SAVE Act would:
increase border patrol agents by 8,000, utilize new technology and fencing to secure the border; expand specialized enforcement programs, such as the “Tunnel Task Force”; and, address the “jobs magnet” by strengthening The Employment Verification Program (E-Verify) to close security gaps, address loopholes, and make it mandatory for employers.
The E-Verify Program provides employers with an inexpensive, quick, and accurate way to verify employee eligibility. E-Verify has already achieved tremendous success, but is currently voluntary and offers little incentive for employers to participate. This puts users at an economic disadvantage when it is only being used by a fraction of U.S. employers and competitors continue to hire illegal aliens.
Last, but not least, the SAVE Act would address interior enforcement by employing more ICE agents, training additional state and local law enforcement personnel, and expediting the removal of illegal aliens by expanding detention capacity and increasing the number of Federal District Court Judges. Furthermore, this legislation would begin a targeted media campaign to inform illegal aliens of new laws and penalties, while also informing employers of penalties for hiring illegal immigrants.
Representative Kirsten Gillibrand has signed on as a co-sponsor of this bill and I thank her for her support.
Although we may be members of different political parties, Rep, Gillibrand and I are Americans first. We should be able to agree on common solutions that are in the best interests of the American people and this is definitely one of them.
This legislation is a good example of principle over politics where members of both political parties show that they can work together for the good for the American people.