America's immigration policy is the focus of a passionate and increasingly divisive debate. It is a debate we need to have and one I believe is long overdue.

As the discussion over how best to address the growing problem of illegal immigration continues, political bickering is delaying adoption and implementation of comprehensive reform. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has thus far refused to bring meaningful immigration legislation to a vote, and the results are predictable: no progress whatsoever on the federal level. Meanwhile, partisans continue to use illegal immigration as a political hammer, choosing to bludgeon their opponents rather than pursue real reform.

Illegal immigration must be more than an election-year issue that fades into obscurity after the ballots have been cast. The system is broken and must be fixed. If the federal government remains paralyzed by partisanship, immigration policy will become an undesirable patchwork of policies, leaving our borders unsecured, our employers confused and our economy more vulnerable.

The issue of illegal immigration is first and foremost one of national security. This is why job one must be to secure our borders. We can debate the specifics of our immigration policy until we are blue in the face, but as that discussion continues, illegals continue to flow across our borders.

Mary Fallin

I believe the bipartisan SAVE Act, of which I am a cosponsor, outlines a common sense plan for securing our borders.


  • Mandates the creation of physical barriers such as fences and walls where necessary.
  • Authorizes an additional 8,000 agents for our Border Patrol
  • Authorizes the use of advanced technologies like aerial surveillance, allowing us to better monitor vulnerable areas and maximize our human resources.

It is my belief the SAVE Act can successfully end the flood of illegal immigration into this country. Once that immediate threat has subsided, we can then address the incentives that encourage people to come into this country illegally. It will be fruitless to clamp down on our borders if we still allow illegals who slip through the cracks to enjoy the full privileges of American citizenship without shouldering any of the responsibilities. For example:


  • We cannot grant amnesty to those who are here illegally. The rule of law must prevail.
  • We must make it easier for employers to verify citizenship and, once the system is in place, aggressively prosecute employers who knowingly hire illegals.
  • We should not offer special privileges like in-state college tuition to people here illegally.
  • We must protect our social services and health care systems from bearing the undue burden placed on them by the growing illegal population.

Finally, we must address the problem of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants already here.


  • I do not favor amnesty. It would be a slap in the face to the millions of immigrants who played by the rules to become part of American society.
  • We should streamline the process by which someone can become a legal, productive part of our culture.
  • Ensure any immigration policy meets the needs of our economy and is not tailored to the needs of any other nation.
  • There should be no preferential treatment for those already here illegally. If illegal aliens decide they want to comply with our immigration policy, they should be required to go to the end of the line.

We must insist on assimilation. America has always welcomed immigrants. It is a cornerstone of our democracy. People who wish to be part of our great nation must take on the responsibility of citizenship. They should learn our language, abide by our laws and strive to contribute to our society.