Begich, Murkowski Say Immigration Bill Strikes Right Balance

Alaska’s U.S. Senators today supported the Immigration Bill which passed the Senate.


Senator Murkowski said she has “always believed that immigration reform legislation should have teeth, heart and 21st century enhancements – and all three priorities have been reached through this bill.” Murkowski said the immigration system is broken, with 11 million undocumented individuals, and it can’t be unbroken, but “we [have] to fix it intelligently, impose penalties and move forward.”


Sen. Begich said the bill hit the right mix of increased security and a clear path to citizenship “for immigrants who have played by the rules.”


He highlighted:

  • An unprecedented surge of an additional 20,000 Border Patrol agents who will be stationed along the southern border, more than doubling the current force and allowing the Border Patrol access to the tools they need to do their jobs more effectively.
  • Provisions to prevent employers from hiring foreign workers when Americans are available.
  • The E-Verify system which will be used by all the employers in the U.S. and make it virtually impossible to work here illegally.
  • Rules that illegal immigrants undergo a background check and pay taxes and fees before starting the path to citizenship.  The bill also contains specific triggers which ensure that illegal immigrants cannot receive green cards until at least 10 years after the enactment of the bill and clear measures on border security are in place.  This bill prevents amnesty.
  • A crackdown on those who overstay their welcome in our country.  With 40% of illegal immigrants resulting from visa overstays, the bill requires the federal government to begin the removal process for 90% of visa overstays and will hold the Department of Homeland Security accountable for failing to enforce the law.
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