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Congressman Gus Bilirakis

Representing the 12th District of Florida

Immigration

July 12, 2014
Bilirakis Blog

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 children, who must always be dealt with in a thoughtful, compassionate and fair manner.

However, we must not forget that we have an obligation to preserve the promise of the American dream for future generations.  To do so, we must uphold the rule of law and ensure its equal application. This means that we must enforce current immigration laws and focus our attention on securing our nation's borders.  These principles must be the cornerstone of our approach to the current situation at the border. Those who have been detained at the border should be returned to their country of origin and must pursue legal channels for immigration if they wish to enter the U.S.  It is this unwavering commitment to the rule of law that sets America apart and distinguishes her as a beacon to which the rest of the world aspires.

We cannot allow our national security to be compromised as part of a political maneuver to exert executive authority and legislate through executive action, which is why I co-authored a letter to President Obama with Chairman Issa imploring swift action to enforce existing laws and strengthen border security.

The Administration has made a Congressional request for funds to address the border situation. I will only support an emergency measure that focuses on border security, because I believe that should be our paramount concern at this time.  I believe the Administration's lack of enforcement and recent actions sets a dangerous precedent that threatens the well-being of border resources, the security of our country, the rule of law and the lives of the children that are making the journey to this country.  We must strengthen the border to prevent these actions.  This is an issue that impacts all Americans, not just those living in communities along the border, and we must unite to solve this problem. In doing so, we can ensure the American dream remains alive and well for future generations.