My Fellow Americans,
By the time I am sworn in as President, the current Congress will have passed “comprehensive immigration reform, ” because the elites of America have decided that’s what we need. But the ordinary citizens of the United States want and deserve the rule of law. The advocates of reform insist on rushing a debate on a bill so detailed that it requires one thousand pages. At this time, it is not humanly possible to know what immigration law will look like when I take the oath of office as the head of the Executive Branch of these United States. I want you, the citizens of the United States, to know what I intend to do once in office.
I intend to enforce the immigration law, whatever it turns out to be. Count on it. There will be no more turning a blind eye to infractions by employers, workers, document forgers or criminals. We wouldn’t be in the mess we are in today, if previous Presidents and their executive branches had made serious attempts to enforce the law. The problems would have been exposed and possibly corrected, much sooner. If Congress presents the country with another impossible to enforce immigration code, we shall find it out sooner, rather than later. For I intend to attempt to enforce every bit of it to the maximum extent legally permissible.
I will complete the building of the border fence. I will make use of all employer sanctions. No more “wink, wink, nod, nod,” over employers who violate hiring and reporting requirements. The raids at the Swift plant will look like a walk in the park.
I will treat document forgery as the serious federal offense that it is. Forging US identity documents amounts to counterfeiting citizenship. Under my leadership the Federal government will treat identity fraud as seriously as the Treasury treats counterfeiting. Jail time. Serious fines. Likewise our government will treat human smugglers as kidnappers. I will use the full force of Federal law against coyotes.
I will take all necessary federal steps to deport alien criminals. I will instruct the Justice Department to assist local law enforcement authorities and penal institutions wishing to lower the costs of incarcerating criminal aliens. We will return illegal aliens who have committed crimes in this country to their home countries. And there will be no “path to citizenship” for legal aliens who commit crimes in this country. I will order their immediate deportation.
If Congress passes a temporary worker program, I will implement all necessary procedures to ensure that the temporary workers return home on schedule. Employers who hire workers past their legal return date will be barred from future participation in the program. Workers who overstay their visas will be barred from ever taking the first step on any path to citizenship.
Speaking of the path to citizenship, whatever Congress ultimately decides it will be: under my administration, there will be no processing of applications from illegal aliens until the backlog of applications of legal immigrants has been completely cleared. We will shorten the processing time for everyone already on the legal path to citizenship. There are far too many people who have waited patiently in line to have their applications for entry and citizenship processed. Line-jumping will not be rewarded on my watch.
I will increase the funding, staffing and computerization of the Citizenship and Immigration Services. If Congress won’t appropriate sufficient funds for this, I will use executive orders to halt to all Federal construction projects. I will use those monies already appropriated for pork barrel projects in every state in the Union to modernize and streamline the immigration process.
In short, I will do everything possible to restore the Rule of Law to every aspect of the immigration process. I want Congress to know that whatever bill they pass, I will attempt to enforce it. If they cook up something that they never intend to have enforced, I will call their bluff, right now, a full 18 months before I am inaugurated. The mess will be on the hands of the Congress, not mine.
This is my pledge to the citizens of this great nation, the native-born, and the legal immigrant alike. One way or another, I will create an immigration system that we can be proud of, that represents the best of America, both our generosity and our sense of fair play.
The Winning Candidate for President, 2008.