House Immigration Bill Is Good Start, But Fight Over Amnesty Isn't Over

Today, the House of Representatives passed a bill which strengthens our border security and begins to enforce immigration laws throughout the country. Over the last two days, reformers in the House have accomplished much: we have approved a security fence along our southern border, we have taken steps to end “catch and release” nationwide, we have slashed funds to localities that shield illegal aliens, and we have gone after employers who attract illegal aliens to the U.S.

Some said that we couldn’t do it, that businesses are too addicted to illegal labor, that the problem is too complex for Congress to tackle. When it became clear that the American people’s demand for reform was too loud to ignore, our political foes changed their arguments and hid their intentions behind new language. Suddenly, amnesty was a “path to citizenship,” an “earned legalization,” or “comprehensive reform.” We passed comprehensive reform today: we penalized illegal alien employers and secured our borders.

The fact that Congress was forced to discuss immigration reform in itself is a victory for my allies. Such a victory has been years in the making, and credit is due to the millions of Americans who attended town halls, wrote letters to the editor, called talk radio shows, and even defended the border on their own. I thank them whole-heartedly for their efforts, and I am deeply honored by the support they have shown me and my congressional allies.

Today we savor our victory, but tomorrow we must begin the fight to ensure our victory becomes reality. I am well aware that this is a three-round fight, and while this has been a good round, we haven’t delivered the knockout punch. The open borders lobby and its cronies in the Senate will undoubtedly attempt to attach an amnesty to our reform bill. The American people know what the Senate’s plan is, and they will bring political punishment to any official that favors it. No backdoor amnesty — no matter what you call it — will become law. Americans demand real reform now and, thankfully, they may get it.