Editor's note: The candidates' responses to the following question are exactly as submitted, without any editing.
5. How would you improve America's immigration system?
More than 52,000 unaccompanied children have shown up to our border since last October. This week, President Obama requested an additional $3.7 billion to address this humanitarian crisis. That's in addition to the over $5 billion that are annually appropriated to the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. If this doesn't clearly demonstrate our system is broken, then I'm not sure what will.
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I support businesses and I support farmers, which is why I support immigration reform. We can either have foreign workers pick our fruits and vegetables here or have foreign workers pick them abroad. And other countries don't have the same health and safety standards that we do. But they're going to get those jobs if we lose our agricultural leadership.
Any solution to this system must be comprehensive and address those who are here undocumented so that the Federal Government isn't in the business of breaking up families. It's also what's going to bring stakeholders to the table and what will provide for compromise. Piecemeal isn't going to work. This doesn't mean it will be free or amnesty or provide for those who committed crimes. But we must address those who have purchased homes, raised families all while paying taxes and following our laws, people who simply want to contribute to the prosperity of our great nation.
Immigrants are individuals with different circumstances. Some abuse the safety net we have in place, and this abuse cannot be tolerated. Others work hard, keep the law, and contribute to our economy. They should be able to work here legally.
We need to eliminate politics and find a comprehensive solution that will aid businesses who rely on immigrant labor, and curtail the abuse of our social programs.
We must secure the border and improve efficiency in the immigration system. We need to encourage those who obtain degrees here to contribute their technical skills to our economy.
We cannot fix immigration problems with a rushed solution, as the Obama Administration did with healthcare reform. Congress must draft immigration proposals that can be debated thoroughly, hold hearings to better understand all competing concerns, and set a non-election year to pass non-partisan, comprehensive legislation.
(Editors note: We received Didier’s answer July 23)
We are a nation of immigrants. The problem we have today is not legal immigration, but illegal aliens flouting our rule of law. We must secure our borders first and foremost — before any other discussions.
Agricultural workers are a special concern to us in the 4th Congressional district. I would add some conditions to the program that have not been in place before. First, WE MUST ENFORCE THE TIME LIMITS ON THE VISAS. Second, I would create some type of escrow account for the seasonal workers. PART OF THEIR WAGES WOULD BE WITHHELD & ONLY CLAIMED WHEN THEY RETURN HOME. Not only would this ensure visa compliance, but also protect their earnings. As a 2nd-generation farmer, I know first-hand the need for a work force and how the current program can sometimes hamstring us from efficiently hiring them.
I SUPPORT A VIGOROUS GUEST WORKER PROGRAM & TEMPORARY VISAS FOR SEASONAL WORKERS UNDER RIGOROUS SUPERVISION. However, it must not provide amnesty or a fraudulent cover to violate their visas.
The issue is not "immigration." The issue is illegal immigration.
The 4th Congressional District's backbone is agriculture, and we rely primarily on migrant labor. I see no reason why we can't have both a secure border and a plentiful workforce.
The border needs to be secured. Then, our Federal Government needs to make visa processing in countries of our migrant workforce a budget priority. Turnaround times to obtain legal entry in the United States would be shortened, and we would have a plentiful workforce to compliment our secure border.
You shouldn't need a lawyer to immigrate; just as a grower trying to harvest their crops shouldn't need a lawyer to access worker visa programs (H-2A, H-2B). I will demand a revamped, flexible and affordable H-2A visa program that is accessible to both small and large growers. What is good for Goliath should be good for David!
I would abolish the Federal Reserve to return the value of the dollar. With the dollars value returned, we will see a surplus of jobs. This means that we will really start to value immigration. It will allow us to make our immigration system easier because there will be plenty of demand for more workers. We will also be able to save some money by bringing our troops home to defend the borders of our country instead of the borders of foreign countries.
Our current immigration and border security policies aren't working. They aren't working to prevent violent drug offenders from crossing our borders. They aren't working for aspiring Americans who are denied legal pathways to add their hard work and talents to building the American dream. And they aren't working for employers seeking temporary foreign workers to fill jobs left unfilled by the domestic workforce. It's time to work on reforms that will secure our borders, stem the tide of illegal immigration, and also fix our guest worker program so that our agricultural economy does not suffer from labor shortages.
For undocumented workers already here, we need a long-term solution, not blanket amnesty. I would support a plan to allow undocumented workers with no serious criminal record to apply for legal status, learn English, pay taxes and a penalty then go to the back of the line and have the opportunity to apply for citizenship.
Gordon Allen Pross
Enforce USA Immigration rule of law.
I support creating a system that recognizes the impact of immigration on American jobs and employment. Adjustments to allow for immigration would then be based on whether jobs for American citizens would be negatively impacted. For any immigration that would be beneficial and not impact American jobs, I support a clear, efficient, and unobstructed path to citizenship.
Make amendments to the Path to Citizenship Bill by President Obama. The current plan will take monies away from Americans regarding educational Grants, housing supplements, and will lessen the opportunities for jobs. Because of the stipulations of the Plan, taxes will increase to supplement the deficit of allocated funds taken from other budgets to effectively execute the required programs and criteria for immigrants. There has to be a realistic compromise to ensure Americans are not penalized but complying immigrants are granted citizenship rightfully. A bi-Partisan support will encourage success on both sides.
Secure the border. Stop the entitlements. Streamline immigration.
Glen R. Stockwell
1st. I will be promoting the US National Guard be place along the Mexican Border to stop all illegals from crossing! What is not being said is this "the Hispanics who live in the United States are in favor of stopping this migration of illegals also, because they know it is and will take away jobs for their families today and for their children in the future!
2nd. I will be introducing legislation "to charge back all return cost to the Airlines, Bus lines" who are bringing illegals into our country!
3rd. I will be taking the Congressional Podium calling for an impeachment and imprisonment vote for the Kenyan Obama, Barry or whatever his name is, along with Holder for treason, not enforcing our laws and going out for contract for escort services to bring these little children across our borders and other treasonous acts!
I will be a Congressman of Action, not words!
Candidate has not provided a response.