WASHINGTON—Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James made the following statement about President Donald Trump’s new immigration proposal. The Heritage Foundation published a detailed report in February, “An Agenda for American Immigration Reform,” which contains recommendations that align with the White House’s proposal.
America is a beacon of hope to the world, so it’s no surprise that people look to this nation for the freedom and opportunities they don’t have in their home countries. One of the reasons America is great is because we are a nation of laws—laws that create our orderly society, protect our freedoms, and support economic opportunities that so many seek. So while we remain a welcoming nation, we must protect our citizens and those seeking to come here with immigration laws that are fair, humane, and enforced.
That’s why The Heritage Foundation has made it a priority to reform our immigration system and address the crisis at our border. Our policy experts have developed effective solutions and we are encouraged to see many of them included in the new proposal from the White House.
Let’s be clear that fixing this problem requires courage. At Heritage, we are standing firm on core principles. We believe the freedom, safety, and prosperity of all Americans are worth protecting. We also believe that continuing to ignore the problem only exacerbates the problem. Our borders must be secured—and that means building more barriers along our southern border. Individuals who are here illegally do not have a right to stay. Our laws have to be enforced and our processes have to be fair to those who make the effort to immigrate here legally.
Importantly, we must stand strong against those who advocate for open borders and amnesty. Amnesty is not the answer. Any degree of amnesty will inevitably increase the pressure on our border and make securing it even harder.
For over two centuries, the United States has welcomed millions of people from every corner of the globe. Today, the United States lawfully admits over a million foreigners per year, more than any other country. We need to ensure that open, welcoming attitude continues to exist in the future.
Conservatives are committed to solving this challenge. Americans have waited long enough for action. Today’s announcement from President Trump is a welcome step in the right direction.