Issue Toolkit:

Immigration

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Our Position

Heritage Action supports immigration-related legislation that addresses these four principles: enforcing U.S. immigration law, securing our border, opposing amnesty, and implementing merit-based legal immigration reform.

Background Information

America welcomes more than one million legal immigrants every year who go through a long vetting process. However, the current immigration system is broken due to a combination of outdated legal immigration rules and lax enforcement that exacerbates lawlessness.

In 2017 and 2018, roughly 235,000 illegal immigrants were arrested on various criminal charges or convictions within the interior of the United States—including roughly 100,000 for assault, 30,000 for sex crimes, and 4,000 for homicides.

Insufficient border security is creating a crisis in communities throughout America. 90 percent of the heroin in America comes through our southern border, fueling the opioid epidemic, destroying families, and killing thousands of our fellow citizens. In the past two years, more Americans have died from opioid overdoses than died in the Vietnam war.

Furthermore, human smugglers are exploiting our immigration system for profit and putting innocent lives at risk. One in three migrant women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek to the border.

The border crisis is real—and inaction is irresponsible. To protect our communities, the Trump Administration is requesting funds for common sense border security. This ask includes:

  • $5.7 billion for construction of approximately 234 miles of steel barrier along the Southern Border
  • $675 million to deter and detect dangerous materials crossing our borders like narcotics and weapons
  • $563 million that would provide for 75 additional immigration judges and support staff who are necessary to reduce the backlog of immigration cases that are sitting right now at the border
  • $211 million for 750 additional border patrol agents, who DHS officials have deemed paramount to this fight
  • $571 million for additional ICE personnel
  • $4.2 billion for detention center materials and personnel


As a first step to combat this crisis, Congress must pass a spending bill that provides the funding that the President has requested. In addition to obtaining increased border security funding today, we must continue to push for real reforms to our legal immigration system. Necessary reforms include ending chain migration, adopting a skills-based immigration system, and closing loopholes in the asylum claim process.

Key Talking Points

  • Border security is essential to reduce illegal immigration. Unchecked illegal immigration is detrimental, not just for the U.S., but for the entire Western Hemisphere.

  • Border security is necessary to protect American lives. Over the past two years, roughly 235,000 illegal immigrants were arrested—including roughly 100,000 for assault, 30,000 for sex crimes, and 4,000 for homicides.

  • The opioid epidemic thrives with weak border security. 300 Americans die of heroin overdoses a week, and 90 percent of that heroin is smuggled through our southern border.

  • The humanitarian crisis at the border is real. Loopholes in our immigration law coupled with our porous border encourages parents to send their children on a dangerous journey to the U.S., often at the hands of threatening human traffickers. 68 percent of migrants are victims of violence along the journey.

  • Reform legal immigration. Securing the border is the first step. We also need rational reforms such as a skills-based migration system and an end to chain migration.

Call Notes

These are notes to use when calling your member of Congress. Always remember to make these notes your own and include a personal story if you have one relating to the topic. You can find their phone number on the Heritage Action Scorecard.


Hello,

My name is [NAME] from [CITY AND ZIP CODE] and I am calling today to urge [MEMBER OF CONGRESS] to provide President Trump with the border security funding that he’s asked for.

We must have a secure border and strong enforcement of our immigration laws in order to:

  • Reduce illegal immigration.
  • Protect American lives.
  • Combat the opioid epidemic.
  • Protect vulnerable individuals from exploitation by human traffickers.


Insufficient border security is creating a crisis in communities across America and at the southern border. For instance, 90 percent of the heroin in America comes through our southern border, fueling the opioid epidemic and destroying our communities.

Please do the right thing and work to pass President Trump’s border security funding request.

Thank you for your time.

Take Action

Social Posts (remember to insert the social handle of your member)

Americans deserve a safe and secure nation, which requires an immigration system that is not laden with loopholes and does not promote illegal immigration. It’s time for Congress to act and provide #BorderSecurity.

A secure border is essential for the preservation of the United States’ national security. #BorderSecurityNOW

The situation at the #SouthernBorder is truly a humanitarian crisis. The best way for Congress to help stop illegal immigration and the flow of illicit drugs from coming across the border is to fund #BorderSecurity.

Women and children are being hurt the most by the crisis at the border. It’s time for Congress to approve funding to #SecureOurBorder.

In 2018, Customs and Border Patrol agents seized 2,400 lbs of fentanyl on the border. This is enough to kill every person in the United States. Enough is enough, it’s time to #SecureOurBorder and stop the flow of illicit drugs. #BorderSecurityNOW

The first duty of government is to defend its people and sovereign territory. @MEMBER please secure our border and keep American interests first. #BorderSecurityNOW

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