I oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants and believe that the first step towards stopping the illegal immigration problem is to secure our borders. I have visited the border at the Rio Grande and witnessed firsthand the challenges facing our border patrol agents. To help them do their job, I have supported legislation to build over 700 miles of reinforced fencing along our southern border, increase the number of border patrol agents, and increase the use of unmanned aerial vehicles and other technology along the border to catch illegal immigrants before they cross into our country. I also support stiffening penalties on employers who knowingly employ illegals.

I also helped form a new Senate caucus focused on working to secure our borders. The Border Security and Enforcement First Caucus will raise public awareness about the need to boost national security by strengthening our borders. The caucus also will help keep this important issue on the forefront of the national agenda.

Immigration policy has important ramifications for our workforce. I oppose policies that allow illegal immigrants to take jobs from American citizens. Many Mississippi industries employ legal immigrants for part of their workforce. Others unknowingly hire illegal immigrants. Mississippi businesses and farms must have access to the best technology to verify the status of prospective employees.

The federal government has implemented E-Verify, an Internet-based system to determine a worker's employment eligibility almost instantaneously. This system is an essential tool in complying with immigration law, and it is important that we pass legislation to make the E-Verify program permanent.