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The Immigration Reform Debate

Question: What options do we have for confronting illegal immigration?

Transcript:Well, we’ve got to make sure, for me it’s a national security question. Because of my experience, because of my background, I tend to think of things in terms of national security. It does bother me that the 9/11 Commission reforms have not been enacted especially with ports security and the 95% of all shipping containers come in unchecked. That’s an immigration question. As we know people are smuggled as much as anything else can be smuggled, so it is a national security idea for me and that’s a northern and southern as well as our eastern and western borders. That we do need to find ways of making our country more secure. But we need to do that by not necessarily just barricading ourselves in. We’ve gotta recognize that trade of ideas and people as a good thing too. Now, we are also a nation of loss and that we need to recognize that on individuals or also on businesses who have hired illegally and we haven’t focused enough on illegal hiring practices. We focus the entire debate on the shoulders of people who come here illegally, and in some cases to improve their lives, you know, or anything else, but we haven’t focused enough that attention on the people who actually provide them the jobs illegally either. So it’s gotta have to deal with employers. Stiff penalties for law breakers to include employers as well as individuals, and that there needs to be a process of reform within the INS so that the people that I meet across Nebraska that are waiting 12, 13, 14 years to become citizens legally. We’re disincentivizing their behavior to do something legally if it takes 14 years to do it when they just as soon could have come across. So we need to make sure that those who are trying to do it legally do it. But we… We can’t hamstring ourselves going forward so we can’t internationally, the fact that we are sending well-trained physicists, well-trained chemists, well-trained computer software programmers out of the country and not keeping them here because they’re the ones who are gonna hold the key to solving the challenges that we’ve talked about. We’ve gotta be smart about it. We’ve gotta recognize that we’re a nation of loss. And we’ve gotta recognize that we can do better than this. We probably are gonna have to take it piecemeal, secure the border first, and then we’ll talk about some of the other issues.

Recorded on: 8/13/08

With a military upbringing, Scott Kleeb views the issue as one of national security.

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