“I am committed to the safety and security of the United States, to putting Americans first and to meeting the needs of the American workforce.”
– Amanda Adkins
Defending America’s Security, Protecting American Jobs
I am committed to the American worker, which is why I believe Congress must address immigration as a security and workforce issue. We must first protect our borders, enhancing the security of our country. We then must create an immigration system that enforces current immigration laws. Finally I believe we should put America first and protect the lives and jobs of US citizens.
- Building a border wall in combination with increased investments in technology and surveillance to help border agents;
- Defunding sanctuary cities; and
- Developing a long-term workforce plan that considers the skills and experience our country needs now and in the future.
The first step in ensuring the security of the United States is protecting our borders. I support President Trump’s efforts to protect our southern border with a physical barrier. Additionally, I support increasing investments in technology and surveillance that help federal agents along the border.
I am fortunate to have seen state of the art technological capabilities that can multiply the effect of border agents on the ground. These types of technologies need to be invested in and deployed to further protect our great nation.
It is critical to national security that America is able to prevent unidentified individuals from crossing the border. Furthermore, in the age of a global pandemic, it is a matter of public health that we know who is entering the country and whether they are knowingly or unknowingly carrying contagious diseases.
We must secure and protect the border to stop illegal immigrants from entering the country and depleting the resources of border communities. Furthermore, we need to analyze the impact of illegal immigration on other components of our society such as law enforcement, education, and healthcare. America simply cannot continue to sustain the stream of illegal immigration into the country. When the system does not work, US taxpayers pay billions each year.
We are in a particularly unique time in history given the global Coronavirus pandemic. This cannot be ignored in the discussion of border security. Protecting America’s borders is important in combatting the spread of the virus. This must be taken into consideration as the US determines how to protect the health of our population and our economy.
Defunding Sanctuary Cities
Sanctuary cities are communities that choose not to enforce certain immigration laws, protecting immigrants who are in the US illegally. Sanctuary cities operate outside the law, picking and choosing which immigration laws to enforce. Communities that choose not to enforce immigration laws are undermining the safety and security of the United States. These cities, counties and in some cases, states, must not be incentivized to promote illegal activity and should be held accountable for their actions that ultimately protect criminals.
By refusing to implement federal measures aimed at deterring, detecting and prosecuting illegal aliens, sanctuary cities undermine federal law aimed at keeping Americans safe and secure. Not only are these cities threatening the security of the US, they are aiding in the rising costs of illegal immigration to Americans. The US spends billions annually in costs related to illegal immigration. These costs are split between federal and state budgets and include the cost of services such as healthcare, education, law enforcement and other government benefits.
US communities should be cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), not blocking them from protecting America. Local law enforcement should be sharing information and working directly with federal immigration authorities to protect American communities. I commend states who help law enforcement by removing criminals to keep their communities safe, and protecting those who enter the country lawfully.
We should be protecting lawful Americans and legal immigrants – not illegal aliens.
As such, I support legislation that bars these so called “sanctuary cities” from receiving certain federal funding. We must protect American citizens as well as the law enforcement agencies charged with keeping our communities safe. We must enforce the rule of law in our country and hold accountable those who choose not to comply.
Long-Term Workforce Plan
The US has not seen true immigration reform since the Reagan Administration, during which the Immigration Reform and Control Act made it illegal for US employers to knowingly hire illegal immigrants. Despite changes in society and our country’s need for significant immigration reform, the current US immigration system is outdated and does not approach immigration as an economic issue. Immigration reform should be seen as an opportunity for economic growth, while protecting jobs for Americans.
US immigration should shift to an employment-based system, meeting the needs of the US labor and workforce. This should be adjusted as conditions in the US change. With millions of Americans out of work as result of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Trump issued Executive Orders temporarily barring immigration from certain countries and placing restrictions on specific temporary work visas (H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and J-1 programs). By doing so, the President is keeping thousands of guest-workers from entering the United States, enabling these jobs to first be filled by Americans. I support putting Americans first in line for jobs as the economy recovers from the Coronavirus pandemic.
I also understand that these conditions are temporary and in the future we must revisit the needs of the US workforce.
Legal immigrants play an important role in filling gaps in our workforce as well as growing our economy. Low-skilled immigrant workers play important roles in industries such as agriculture, construction, landscaping, and hospitality, while high-skilled immigrants offer significant contributions to the medical, education and technology industries in the US. While temporary restrictions to immigration may be warranted given the unprecedented global pandemic, overly aggressive barriers to legal immigration will have a negative impact on American economic recovery and prosperity.
According to the George W. Bush Presidential Center, from 2006 to 2016 immigrants were responsible for nearly half of US labor force growth, a key component of economic growth. Immigrants are also responsible for a significant portion of entrepreneurship in the US. In 2016, 45 percent of the Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children.
More than ever, America needs to attract the brightest, most talented individuals to the US. The immigration system should support this, not hinder it. America has always been the land of opportunity and our immigration system should reflect that. When elected, I will be committed to immigration policies that put Americans first, while taking into consideration the needs of companies across the United States that can be filled by legal immigrants.
We are a nation of immigrants. We are also a nation of laws and one that values the safety, security and health of our people. When implemented properly, the US immigration system can and should be used as a tool for economic growth. The prosperity of America depends on lawful, legal immigrants and the protection of our borders. I am committed to the safety and security of the United States, to putting Americans first and to meeting the needs of the labor and workforce in America
Click HERE to download Amanda’s plan for protecting America’s security and protecting American jobs