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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

PAUL: Trust but verify to reform immigration - Washington Times

PAUL: Trust but verify to reform immigration - Washington Times

A few weeks ago in this column, I expressed my support and outlined some of my ideas in the immigration reform area. I am committed to the idea that we should be doing something. I titled that essay “Trust but Verify,” alluding to the old Reagan doctrine that if you are going to make a deal, you have to make sure both ends of the bargain are upheld.
Most attempts at comprehensive immigration reform have failed in the past, not because conservatives refused to assimilate those who came here illegally into the country. In fact, in the 1986 plan signed by President Reagan, nearly 2.7 million illegal immigrants were allowed to stay in the country. In the proposed 2007 plan, George W. Bush and many congressional Republicans were prepared to accept millions more.
No, the reason many conservatives are justifiably wary of calls for reform is this: The promised border security has never become reality. So today I will discuss the “verify” element essential to any deal on immigration reform.
As a matter of both national security and immigration policy, it is absolutely essential that we both secure our border and modernize our visa system so we know who comes and who goes on travel, student and other temporary visas.
Right now, we basically have no idea: No idea who crosses our border; no idea who overstays a student visa; no idea whether or not a migrant worker leaves as scheduled. In fact, we don’t even know how many migrant workers use the temporary guest worker program, because it is such a mess that very few actually even try.

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