Ryan Talks Immigration Reform with Laura Ingraham
The Laura Ingraham Show
WASHINGTON—Wisconsin’s First District Congressman Paul Ryan spoke with Laura Ingraham about the need for immigration reform. Ryan stressed the importance of securing the border and said that the House will continue to develop its own proposals. Excerpts of the interview follow.
Demanding Real Border Security:
“I am speaking to you as a House conservative, as a House Republican—backing up exactly what you just played John Boehner saying, which is, ‘We’re not going to vote on the Senate bill over here in the House. We’re doing it our own way—on a separate track—and we are going to be very methodical about this.’ John [Boehner] was exactly right when he said that they don’t really have triggers. Giving a bureaucrat the ability to subjectively sign off on something is not a trigger. We’re going to do it differently over here. So we aren’t going to take that Senate bill and vote on it over here. We’re doing it differently.
“We’re living in the post–9/11 environment. We do not have operational control over our borders. We do not know if a person overstays their visa and leaves the country or not. So we got to fix this thing. We have a broken legal immigration system that needs to be fixed, as well. Doing nothing is not a good idea because we have 11 million-plus people who have either overstayed their visa or crossed the border illegally who are here, and they’re not going away.
“We got to fix this thing and we, in the House, are going to try and do this the right way, which is real border security, real triggers, real workplace verification, and a legal immigration system that is good for our economy.”
Reducing the Magnets for Illegal Immigration:
“What we are talking about here in the House—the kind of progress we’re envisioning in the House—is number one, we objectively measure what it really takes to secure the border. Those are objective, standard measurements—measured by Congress and the General Accountability Office and our border-state governors, who are our partners on this—people like Rick Perry and Arizona governor Jan Brewer. We measure whether these measures and benchmarks are met or not. That’s number one. . . .
“My second point is that you got to have a modern technological system, where you can really verify whether a person is legally present in the country or not when they get a job. That’s the magnet. The magnet is, you can cross the border illegally without very much consequence. The magnet is that you can get a job without actually proving that you’re here lawfully. We got to fix those. The third point I want to make is that you need to separate what I call the ‘economic immigrant’ from those we don’t want coming here—people who have felonies, people who are bringing drugs, people who seek to do us harm. So when we consult with the border-enforcement officials—and we’ve consulted with the people who are fighting the border—they say, ‘Bring the economic immigrant through, with a guest-worker visa so they come through the front door.’”