Rep. Jones seeks tougher immigration laws
By Andrew Bell
Published in News on January 29, 2006 2:02 AM
Rep. Walter Jones is urging congressional leaders to create tougher regulations to curtail the influx of illegal immigrants into the United States.
Jones said federal officials are not doing enough to prevent illegals from entering the country. They cost taxpayers an enormous amount of money each year and can pose a danger to national security, he added.
Jones is a member of the House Immigration Caucus. He said federal authorities need to do more to enforce existing laws designed to stop the thousands of immigrants who enter the country illegally each week -- and consider new measures to help control the problem.
"At this point, we have not -- this administration or the previous one -- enforced the laws by the book," Jones said.
Jones, a Republican who represents the 3rd Congressional District, said he has urged congressional leaders to adopt stricter immigration regulations. He said he also has tried to keep his constituents informed of the dangers of not protecting the nation's borders.
"People violating the law must suffer the consequences," he said. "The administration needs to demand that the laws be enforced. This is a national security issue. There are 8,000 to 10,000 illegals that come into our country every week. How do you know who's coming in? One of them could be a terrorist."
In particular, Jones said this country should reject any notion of amnesty for illegal immigrants. The provision would allow those illegals who are already in the country to earn "legal" status if they reveal themselves and sign up for a work visa that allows them to be in the country temporarily.
"I am adamantly opposed (to amnesty). We cannot reward someone for violating the law. If you grant amnesty to an illegal immigrant, you are rewarding a violation of our laws," Jones said.
In a letter written Wednesday to House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner Jr., Jones said amnesty disguised as a guest-worker program does nothing to slow the flow of illegal immigrants.
"In 1986, Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act giving amnesty to all illegal aliens who had been in the country four years or more or were illegally working in agriculture. As a result, 2.8 million illegal aliens were admitted as legal immigrants to the United States. Currently, there are approximately 8 to 12 million illegal aliens residing in this country," Jones said in the letter. "Obviously, amnesty programs do not work."
Before the country considers implementing a guest-worker program, U.S. leaders should consider the options of increasing border security and interior enforcement, he said.
Last month, Jones voted in favor of legislation aimed at increasing border security by demanding accountability of employers that hire illegal immigrants or smuggle them into the country. Some of those illegal workers join gangs, he said. Resolution, which also confronts the problem of the gangs, has passed the House and awaits consideration in the Senate.
Jones has co-sponsored at least eight resolutions that would secure national borders, limit the influx of illegal immigrants and provide the Department of Homeland Security with additional defense in protecting the borders.
He added that government could help the Department of Homeland Security by authorizing a militia to watch borders, providing military forces when necessary and training 2,000 new border agents.
Although there are many law-abiding immigrants working toward becoming naturalized citizens, Jones said many others are costing taxpayers millions of dollars every year.
"This is a national problem," Jones said.
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