Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Nearly everyone agrees that we need to fix our nation’s broken immigration system. The way for Congress to remedy this problem is to methodically look at each of the various components that need to be fixed and take any final bill through the traditional legislative process. Immigration reform is too important and complex to not examine each piece in detail.
By taking our time, Congress is able to reflect on past legislative mistakes and avoid making similar ones in the future. For example, nearly 30 years ago Congress passed and President Reagan signed into law the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, assuring the American people that it would fix our immigration system. We were promised tougher enforcement in exchange for the legalization of roughly 3 million people. But these promises were never kept and our immigration laws remain broken.
The failed attempt to pass a massive immigration bill in 2007 also points to the need for a step-by-step approach under the normal legislative process of hearings, markups and a final vote. The authors of this bill took a top-down approach rather than starting from the ground up and examining each individual component. Consequently, once hidden details and unintended consequences of the bill came to light, the American people largely opposed it, and the bill failed. The American people want to know how Congress plans to avoid these similar outcomes this time.
Both the House and the Senate recognize the importance of reforming our nation’s immigration system, and that is why both chambers are actively pursuing a solution to this issue.
While it’s true that many in the House, including myself, are concerned that the Senate’s nearly 900-page bill repeats some of the same mistakes of the past, we’re hopeful that we can produce better solutions.
The House Judiciary Committee, which I chair, has held numerous hearings on our immigration laws, and we have already introduced several stand-alone bills that address particular issues within our immigration system. We plan to build upon this work to build consensus on these important issues in the weeks and months ahead. This process of regular order allows every representative to fully vet the issues and provides the opportunity to have the voices of the 6th Congressional District and folks across the nation heard.
Immigration reform is not an easy task, yet a solution is not out of reach. By taking a methodical approach to these issues, it will help us craft better legislation that will benefit Americans and provide a workable immigration system. This will ensure we get immigration reform right this time so that we don’t have the same problems in the future.
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