Inside the House Republican caucus, Rep. Paul Ryan is the “idea’s guy,” unafraid to get a conversation going by putting forth fresh and concrete solutions to the nation’s most pressing problems. He’s done it for the federal budget, for reforming Medicare and most recently for transforming America’s broken immigration system.
Over the last two years. Mr. Ryan has been an unrelenting voice for immigration reform that starts with securing the border and includes expanding legal opportunities to immigrate to America to meet the needs of our economy.
“We should reform our immigration system because it will help America,” Mr. Ryan declares on his official congressional Web site. “We need an immigration system that upholds the rule of law and helps our economy grow.”
Mr. Ryan, chairman of the powerful House Budget Committee, has proposed one of the most detailed immigration reform proposals of any Republican in Congress. It rests on four guiding principles:
• Secure the border, expanding the resources and tools for those who patrol it and working with independent experts to achieve operational control and situational awareness along the border.
• Enforce the current laws, particularly by implementing an improved exit/entry visa tracking and a mandatory employment verification system.
• Encourage legal immigration with a guest-worker visa program that is tailored to meet the needs of the economy and attracts the best and brightest talents in the world.
• Give those already in the country illegally an opportunity to get right with the law without granting them amnesty.
On the last issue, Mr. Ryan has suggested two solutions: 1.) that the children of illegal immigrants often referred to as “Dreamers” — be allowed to stay since they didn’t break any laws, their parents did; and 2.) adult illegals should be given the opportunity if certain requirements are met to serve a lengthy period of probation to get right with the law. Those who violate any terms of that probation should immediately lose probationary legal status.
“A conservative deals with the world as it is, not how it should be,” Mr. Ryan said recently. “We need to deal with the undocumented population because right now we have de facto amnesty. We need to invite people to get right with the law, without letting them cut in line.”
Mr. Ryan also has been a strong voice for letting Congress solve the immigration crisis, telling The Washington Times he believes it would be a mistake for President Obama to act on his own.
“I hope the President will not issue an executive order because it would effectively poison the well in Congress, making real immigration reform that much harder to accomplish. Rather than go around Congress, I would encourage the President to give the House time to develop solutions that respect the rule of law, secure our border, and fix our broken system for good,” he told the Times this week.
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