As the grandchild of Greek immigrants, Congressman Bilirakis understands the power of the American dream and the unique cultural, intellectual and economic contributions that have been made to our nation by people of all backgrounds who have immigrated to the United States legally.
The Congressman is gravely concerned about the current border crisis that has been caused by the current Administration’s policies and executive orders on immigration. In February of 2021 there were 100,441 Southwest border encounters, which is a 173% increase when compared to February of 2020. Border crossings are up and are projected to increase even more, with an expected increase of 117,000 unaccompanied minors.
Congressman Bilirakis does not support amnesty or allowing those who have broken our nation’s immigration laws to begin a path to citizenship. He believes in the rule of law, and that we must not reward those who have come here illegally. Instead of demanding that the current border crisis be tackled, the Speaker has recently put amnesty bills on the Floor. Congressman Bilirakis has voted against these partisan amnesty bills because they do nothing to fix the issues in our immigration system. Providing large scale amnesty without fixing the problems in our immigration system would only encourage more people to illegally migrate to the United States, exacerbating an already crisis level issue at the border. Congressman Bilirakis believes that Congress must work in a bipartisan manner to ensure that immigration reform proposals protect our national security, meet our economic needs, and adhere to American values. He also believes that children who are brought to our country, regardless of the circumstances should be treated with dignity, respect, and the sensitivity required to ensure their physical and emotional wellbeing. And, he supports keeping families intact.
The Congressman is also open to allowing renewal of DACA, if it is tied to ending chain migration; the visa lottery system; enhanced penalties for deported criminals who return to the U.S.; and border protection. In a previous Congress, he cosponsored the Securing America’s Future Act, which provides a 3 year renewable legal status for DACA children, while implementing the above border security initiatives as well as other provisions. Unfortunately, this bill failed to pass the House. Additionally, Congressman Bilirakis does not support sanctuary cities, and has voted to stop federal funds from supporting these cities in the past. Congressman Bilirakis will continue to work toward a sensible immigration policy that rewards those who obey the law and promotes legal immigration to attract the best and brightest people to our nation.
More on Immigration
“As a second generation Greek American, I have a firsthand understanding of the importance and power of the American dream, as well as, the sensitivity and passion surrounding the issue of immigration reform. This matter becomes even more delicate when it involves minors, who must always be dealt with in a thoughtful, compassionate and fair manner,” Bilirakis said.