Congressman Leonard Boswell says illegal immigration is still a problem and he’s hoping his fellow Democrats who control the debate agenda in congress bring the issue back up for debate. “We have many things going on on our plate these days, but we need to get back and do something about illegal immigration,” Boswell says.
Boswell is backing an approach that focuses on the businesses that hire illegal immigrants. “Most illegal immigrants come into our country to work and too many American employers knowingly, or in some cases unknowingly, hire them,” Boswell says. “That is why we must improve our tools for identifying illegal workers and increase enforcement of our laws banning the employment of illegal immigrants.”
It’s way past time for the government to develop a “reliable system” so businesses can check whether a job applicant is a legal citizen of the U.S., according to Boswell. In addition, Boswell favors doubling the penalties for companies that are caught hiring illegal immigrants.
An attempt at immigration reform failed this past summer as critics said it promoted “amnesty” for illegal immigrants by allowing them to pay a fine and then apply for U.S. citizenship. Boswell isn’t sure a compromise can be reached. “People are still talking to us about it and it still hangs out there as a problem,” Boswell says. According to Boswell, the “only reason” congress isn’t tackling the issue today is because the federal budget isn’t yet drafted and there’s a renewed debate about Iraq war funding.