There is no question that our immigration system is broken, and for far too long, Congress has ignored its responsibility to fix the problem. The time has come for Congress to lead on this issue.

First, we must secure the border and improve our methods of preventing people from overstaying their visas. We are in the midst of a war on terror and continue to be the target of radicals who want to do our country harm. Ensuring we know who is entering our country and why they are here is critical to national security. Beyond the threat of terrorism, securing our border is critical to preventing drug and human trafficking.

Second, our legal immigration process must be reformed. Right now, it is very easy to come to the United States illegally but very hard to enter the country legally. This backwards system provides a perverse incentive to break the law. We must crack down on instances where employers engage in fraud and manipulate the visa system to replace American workers with cheaper labor, but we also should make it easier for highly-skilled foreign students and workers to legally enter our country when they will help our economy and won’t displace American workers.

Here’s the bottom line: America is a nation of immigrants. We should be welcoming to those who genuinely want to be in the United States and follow our laws, but we must protect American citizens above all else by preventing people from entering our country illegally and taking advantage of our country’s goodwill.

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