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Senator Says There is a Need for Immigration Legislation

Grassley says there are many challenges that have to be overcome.

Published on: Jun 25, 2010

Citizens in Fremont, Neb. passed an ordinance Monday requiring businesses to verify employees have legal immigration status to work. Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, says there is definitely a need for legislation on illegal immigration.

He says amnesty doesn't work and won't work considering the attempt in 1986 when only three million people were in the U.S. illegally. Grassley states violation of law encourages disrespect for law and only continues to get more disrespect, which he says explains why there are now 12 million illegal immigrants. However, Grassley says finding a policy that will work is a challenge.

"There is a need but I don't see how you get it because one party insists on amnesty," Grassley said. "There is so much we could do to secure the borders and penalize and prosecute to greater extent people that hire illegally and kind of shut down the sieve that exists at the border. Do that first and then we'll worry about everything else."

Grassley says we should stop the leakage before we do anything else. Grassley says penalties aren't high enough for those hiring illegal immigrants. Some ways he sees to overcome that include electronic verification, increased penalties for people that hire illegal people, secure the border, finishing the fence.

Grassley wrote a letter with seven other Senators to President Obama about the administration's plans to unilaterally extend deferred action or parole for millions of illegal immigrants. The Senators say deferred action would further erode the American public's confidence in the federal government and its commitment to securing the borders and enforcing existing laws.

Grassley believes secure borders and verification programs for jobs would encourage illegal immigrants to go back to their home country and then try to enter the U.S. legally.

Illegal immigration does have an effect on various ag industries, as well as other industries, so Grassley suggests the U.S. needs a guest worker program that will allow people to legally enter the country and work where they are needed.

"We already have laws for professional people like H1B's, which are probably not tight enough," Grassley said. "But at least there are ways you can come to this country legally to get jobs. So I would do that guest worker program for non-professional people."

Grassley's guest worker program wouldn't be an expansion of H1B's but a separate program for workers in various industries.