Brian Bilbray is a Republican Congressman that serves the San Diego area. He is also chairman of the Immigration Reform Caucus. He talked to NewsRealBlog about his views on immigration reform.
NRB: Are you in favor of an amnesty program?
Bilbray: Amnesty CAUSES illegal immigration by encouraging people to break the rules. Just talking about it causes illegals to stay in this country with the hope that they will become citizens. Last time amnesty was given, in 1986, there were 3 million now it’s 12 million. The next time it could be 100 million.
NRB: So you consider amnesty a poor solution?
Bilbray: There are people in Washington lobbying for free labor to drive down the price of labor. There are also those who want illegals to stay for political reasons.
NRB: What about the argument that children born to illegal immigrants in this country are citizens and by not having amnesty families will be separated?
Bilbray: An illegal immigrant’s child should not get citizenship. Native Americans did not get automatic citizenship. The 14th Amendment has a conditioning clause.
NRB: Do you support a guest worker program?
Bilbray: Yes. People can come here, work, and go home. We want to reward those that play by the rules. These people want the economic opportunity and then to be able to return home to maintain their ties. I have gone down to Latin America and talked to the locals about this issue. Many feel that people should not be rewarded for not following the law. More of Congress should take the time and go down, talk to the people, and find out their thinking.
NRB: Do you think America should build a wall or fence?
Bilbray: A fence is San Diego has turned one of the most dangerous neighborhoods into one of its safest. Look at Mexico where the tradition is to build walls around their houses so why are people upset over fences. A Baja California mayor once said we need high fences and big gates. It’s not just about immigrants; it’s about stopping all illegal activity such as drug cartels and drug smuggling.
NRB: Should there be troops on the border?
Bilbray: What nation doesn’t have troops on their border? Do the neighborhoods in San Diego have less of a right of being protected than the neighborhoods in Baghdad who are protected by our troops?
NRB: What is your solution to immigration reform?
Bilbray: We need to involve local law enforcement to stop the violence. The National Guard should be down there. The military should be involved. We should quit finding excuses. Have an E-verify system to make it easier for employers to determine who is legal and illegal. Upgrade the Social Security ID system. Establish a guest worker program.
NRB: Do you think immigration reform will pass this year?
Bilbray: It will probably be passed because the Democrats in power want to shove it through. The mentality in Washington right now is they will lose the majority so they will put forth what they want. This is a pretty scary mentality since they are going to do what they want despite the public opinion being against it.