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A New Strategy for Controlling Illegal Immigration

Recorded on September 21, 2006

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

Illegal immigration is a problem growing numbers of citizens expect Congress to solve, yet Congress has been caught in a stalemate. The House and the Senate have each passed immigration reform bills, but the vast differences in the two bills make it impossible to simply merge them. Recent proposals to do so are problematic. The status quo is not acceptable, yet the prospects for compromise seem dim.

Representative Tom Tancredo (R-CO), Chairman of the House Immigration Reform Caucus, proposes a new strategy for controlling illegal immigration based upon restoring public confidence in our ability to enforce our immigration laws. This strategy begins with controlling our borders, followed by demonstrating a capacity to enforce our laws inside the country. After achieving these reforms and demonstrating effective immigration law enforcement for the first time in 40 years, we can move to consideration of guest worker proposals. This form of "sequencing" recognizes the practical and political necessities required to break the current stalemate and proceed to establish a credible program for controlling illegal immigration.