Nikki Haley on Immigration
HALEY: I am the proud daughter of Indian immigrants. I believe that the fabric of America is legal immigration. This is not about not wanting people in. This is about keeping the terrorists out. We should never ban based on religion, I mean, period. We should never. And I don't think that's what this is. We will never close our doors in the United States. We won't. But what we did do was take a pause.
My story is really not much different from millions of other Americans. Immigrants have been coming to our shores for generations to live the dream that is America. They wanted better for their children than for themselves. That remains the dream of all of us, and in this country we have seen time and again that that dream is achievable.
No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country.
At the same time, that does not mean we just flat out open our borders. We can't do that. We cannot continue to allow immigrants to come here illegally. And in this age of terrorism, we must not let in refugees whose intentions cannot be determined.
I have no doubt that if we act with proper focus, we can protect our borders, our sovereignty and our citizens, all while remaining true to America's noblest legacies.
The problem is, for E-Verify to work government has to know whether employers are actually using it. Obama's Department of Homeland Security told us we could no longer audit businesses to check if they were using E-Verify. The privacy of the people being checked, they said, would be compromised if we asked for proof from businesses. Out of the more than 6,000 businesses they had checked, over 2,000 violations had been found. But no more. Now the federal government was saying that we couldn't use the best and most efficient means we had to enforce our law.
My goal wasn't to overburden employers with rules and regulations. I just wanted to use the easiest and least costly way, to ensure we weren't employing illegals, and that was E-Verify.
I am the proud daughter of legal immigrants--emphasis on the LEGAL. My parents played by the rules and waited their turn. They are offended--as I am--by those who try to backdoor the system and come here illegally. When we allow this debate to be about race, we lose sight of the principle that is really at the heart of it: the rule of law. We are a nation of immigrants, and we're proud of it. But we are first and foremost a nation of laws. If we give up being a nation of laws, we give up everything this country was founded on.
Status:Bill passed Senate, 22-14-0; passed House 65-39-20; signed by Governor, June 27, 2011.
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