This week’s news reminds us we have a serious problem with immigration enforcement, and our current immigration laws encourage illegal immigrants to break them.

In a recent report, Heritage expert David Inserra explains how “loopholes and defects in U.S. immigration laws are among the largest problems contributing to illegal immigration and are fully within Congress’ power to fix.” Specifically, he points to federal asylum laws and policies dealing with families and children, which are at the heart of the border crisis.

The reason caravans of thousands of foreign nationals convoy through the Mexican desert to cross our southern border is that, under current law, even if they are caught, there is a high probability they will be released into the United States. Inserra’s report explains what lawmakers can do to stop incentivizing foreign nationals to break our laws.

Your trust and support have put Heritage in the right place at the right time, and allow us to offer conservative solutions that promise to fix our immigration challenges. Thank you for letting us represent you as we fight for America.

Read Inserra’s Immigration Law and Enforcement report here >>

What should Congress do to fix broken immigration laws?

Comments (60)

Charles Holstein - November 2, 2018

First, we MUST end birthright citizenship for illegal aliens! Closing the loopholes Mr. Inserra wrote about would be the second thing we should do. Just those two things would probably cut illegal immigration down quite a bit.

James Watkins - November 2, 2018

Enforce existing laws & build a wall to help that effort. Amend laws that make no sense & attract illegal immigration to this country.

Nancy - November 2, 2018

Regarding broken immigration laws, first we must build a impassable border, second would be asylum must be sought before they come to the border, and three close the loopholes. No one should be able to walk up to border and expect to be able to cross without papers.

Marvin Shults - November 2, 2018

I recently told a Canadian relative who loves to take shots at U.S. Immigration
Problems. I told her “in my last four visit to Canada, we had to present our passports to enter”. Perhaps ,Canada would like to assist and finance their immigrating to
Canada. Silence.

William Coates - November 2, 2018

Legislation is needed to clarify the matter of birthright citizenship – the 14th Amendment is being misused, its intent was related only to freed slaves. However, retroactive laws are not workable. The State Department’s political wanderings have muddied the waters on refugees and asylum, and law must be written much more clearly and completely than Congress usually does.

Glenn Shannon - November 2, 2018

No not broken immigration laws just the fact that so many refuse to enforce our immigration laws.

Elaine Liming - November 2, 2018

Thanks for telling us who is behind this caravan. I also agree that we must stop the loop holes, and have immigration reform now. It should be the main topic of the Congress after the election. If I were able to speak to President Trump I would repeat what you have stated in this video. I would go a step further and ask the governments involved to help us bring these organizers to the world court and prosecute them for the damage they are doing to their own people. One man I have heard and studied George Soros needs to be dealt with now. In my opinion if I were President I would take away his American Citizenship along with all the deep state Americans who want our country and way of life destroyed. WE the people spoke loudly in the last election,,,,,,,,,,,

I will be voting November 6th. I will also pray that God our Creator will give us what we need and not what we truly deserve. I see the evil that has come upon us and we are to blame because of our lack of action and sinfulness. I am sure the culture of death ( all those babies aborted), the divorce rate, women who have forgotten what being a women of Character and faith is all about. The evils of secularism and liberalism , plus PC Political Corrosiveness have been like a Tsunami . Like a Tsunami that covers the land and you don’t know what the damage is until the Tsunami has subsided. God Help Us!

John Blake - November 2, 2018

I agree completely with Inserra’s article. Immigrants who did not apply first to Mexico or other countries before coming to the U.S. should be rejected. I would also add that birthright citizenship should be abolished.

Andrew Barbieri - November 2, 2018

Send armed US Army troops to beef up our Border Patrol, with free fire orders on anyone illegally trying to cross our southern border. Establish military bases across our southern border for the express purpose of defending it against these moms invadeing us. The presence of an armed, with orders to fire, force will br a great deterrent to criminals, thugs, drug smmuglers, and terrorist trying to cross into our country.

Janice Hiroms - November 2, 2018

Eliminate birthright citizenship and chain migration. What we need in this country are those who have the skills we need, who want citizenship and will pledge allegiance to this country and its Constitution and who will not be an undue burden on taxpayers. What we have now are low skilled workers who want jobs to send money home, but do not want to pledge allegiance to this country. They want the benefits, but do not even learn English. Yet, illegals get more attention from our elected officials than taxpayers and citizens. And for 40 years neither party would fix the immigration system. Please publish the financial data to show how much illegals are costing taxpayers in medical costs, education and other services.

Patricia Sprigg - November 2, 2018

Make English our national language. If you cannot read, speak, write and understand English, goodbye.

Ken Oda - November 2, 2018

Asylum Seekers need first apply at the US Embassy in their native country. This could be done in person or via mail on some sort of information form. Candidates for interview would be contacted by mail for a followup interview for immediate denial.

No more attempting to show up in the USA and gaming our absurd Asylum Process.

Wanda kirkpatrick - November 2, 2018

Think of the American citizens and change the immigration laws and loopholes! Totally ridiculous the the U.S. Us unprotected due to these stupid laws!

Pedro Perolini - November 2, 2018

Merit immigration system. Prove allegiance to the US. Minimum 4 year college degree. We need Einstein, Asimov and Drucker. Not law breaking Central Americans.

Patricia Shaefer - November 2, 2018

Change the law! Tebt cities until they are vetted! Others who are waiting should come first!!

Loren Wood - November 2, 2018

A public “perception” issue should be emphasized in all forums, mainly that our objection is to ILLEGAL (and chain) immigration. Audiences need to be REPEATEDLY told that our objection is to illegal immigration. US needs immigration to mitigate low birthrates so that we don’t get the problems that, for example, Russia and Japan have. But, we need legal, young, skilled immigrants. The illegals (and “chain” entrants) have too many older unskilled people. Our young citizens should be told that current policies endanger their prospects for a comfortable retirement.

Elaine Moser - November 2, 2018

I just read Elaine Liming, response,and I agree with her completly . I also just read that the Democrat in texas running against Ted Cruze, is using his campaigh money to help thepeople in the caravan. This is
Disgusting. i truly fear for this country.
I sure pray that the republicans win more
Seats than they had.

Earl Morgan - November 2, 2018

Congress should be listening to and acting upon the sound suggestions being put forth by Numbers USA ? Things like mandating the use of E-Verify, ending birthright citizenship and chain migration, establishing numbers based on verifiable need and using merit based criteria, and addressing training in english language proficiency.
See –

Sue Noble - November 2, 2018

Don’t fix the laws. I’m happy the way the Constitution is written. I think all the illegals should be kicked out. The Laws must be obeyed. I’m sick and tired of illegals who come to the U.S. All they come here for is get on the Welfare Wagon. They come into the U.S. to have their babies at our expense. Then they can stay because their children are citizens. Why should they be granted citizenship under the circumstances that their parents didn’t abide by the law. The law breakers must be stopped. The liberals are behind the illegals coming over here just for votes.
I have great deal of respect for the ones who come in legally. I have no respect for those who come here illegally.
I might mention the illegals saying the love America then fly their Mexican Flag.
We should have more ICE people on the Border

Robert D. Vines - November 2, 2018

Spending 15 years working in Mexico has left me with the conclusion that the life goal of every Mexican is to become a US citizen. It is easy to understand that goal when comparing life in Latin America versus the US. There are a thousand reasons for the life differences and until this basic root cause is fixed illegal immigration into the United States will continue.

In our El Paso region thousands cross the border every day to shop. There are many reasons that things are less expensive in the US than Mexico but the fact remains that this incentive drives massive daily border crossings. Some who cross as a shopper find work. Those, who find work never return to Mexico and become illegal immigrants. Building a higher wall at the border will not stop this immigration. Ceasing to employ illegals would stop this immigration but no one in the US seems to want to see that happen. It would be very helpful to understand this phenomenon. Is this immigration good for the country? If so, then why not formalize it in some logical way.

I am absolutely certain that If I had been born in Mexico or any other Latin American country, I would live in the US today. I might be legal or illegal, but I would most certainly be living here. All of my children would certainly be citizens. That fact is also another incentive for illegal immigration into the US. That is also the reason that such a high portion of the Mexican mothers in our region cross the bridge to have their babies in El Paso. The children are automatic citizens.

Fixing these two items: Limit hiring to legal residences and citizens, and eliminate anchor babies, would significantly reduce illegal immigration. However, it does not fix the root cause. The root cause remains the life differences between the US and many other countries. Until we address that, we will never really fix the illegal problem.
High on the list of eliminating the root cause involving the life differences between the US and Latin America would be educating women and providing family planning resources. People don’t want to talk about that because it points fingers at institutions like the Catholic Church. But, that issue should be discussed. It is probably the most cost-effective way to raise the future outlook of living standards in Latin America.

Of course, there are many other causes for the life differences between the US and Latin America. Corruption, not just in government, is a major problem. Corruption in the strong labor unions is a major problem. A system to report and punish corruption needs to be implemented. Another problem to address is cartels. Both these issues need to be logically analyzed and addressed. If it takes legalizing the drug trade, then so be it. Take it out of the cartels and they go away. I am not proposing that as a solution, I am saying that these issues need to be thoroughly analyzed without taking any of the options off the table.
Another root cause for the life differences is education. Public education in Latin America cannot compare with the US. If China and Japan can recognize and fix that issue, then Mexico and other Latin American countries could do it too.

What I am saying with this is that what is needed is not a higher wall at the borders, but instead, a root cause analysis that would result in removing the incentive for illegal immigration.

Craig Steen - November 2, 2018

The safety of American citizens should be paramount in all interpretations of our immigration laws….presently through illegal sanctuary policies, convicted, alien criminals are being allowed to remain in this county endangering not only our loved ones but even other people here illegally. We have created a magnet for those who were not only a criminal in their own country of origin, but have learned it is better to do time here if they engage in criminal acts knowing the system will protect them.

Karen - November 2, 2018

have billionaire Oprah who is ranting against U.S. to set up help, food, jobs in another country since U.S. is so bad she still screams, rants of it. Lots of Hollywood who rant also can donate their millions and numerous mansions for the cause. Let those who scream put their money where their ranting mouth are.

Bruce Gustafson - November 2, 2018

Follow and enforce already established application law and procedure.
Any illegal entrant is Retna and fingerprinted, fed, showered, clean clothed and escorted to boarding of the first available aircraft to their home of record. Admonished with with explained, signed and witnessed in photo form that they have been entered on record as a criminal and will be required to declare such on any application for entrance to the USA. If there are children involved send a Red Cross/ military female or other social services rep.with them to their destination.

John E. Townsend, Sr. - November 2, 2018

We must strongly support President Trump on border security. To hell with open borders. If we let all the drifters and thugs into the country our streets and our homes will not be safe. The kid-gloves policy doesn’t work–the criminals and thugs take advantage of our leniency. We should deport the up-to-thirty millions illegals who have already been let into our country through the stupid soft approach on immigration. Many of them are freeloaders, criminals or members of malicious gangs that are dangerous to our people.

Barbara L. Parrish - November 2, 2018

I agree 100% with Janice Hiroms and Patricia Sprigg!! The immigration laws need to be the number one issue immediately
with Congress! All people are distraught
with the unrest that “The Caravan” is causing! I feel for those people, however
Amerca cannot afford to let them in without
stricter laws! They are not clear!

Michael Perdue - November 2, 2018

Build a wall. Make people come to this country legally.

Lewis Bishop - November 2, 2018

Congress should pass resolution(s) affirming the Monroe Doctrine as a vital concept in maintaining order and prosperity among nations in the Western Hemisphere, and affirming that the Congress backs the US Commander-in-Chief as he effectively handles any threats of migration; and that migration should be stanched in a timely manner while avoiding threats and/or actions related to economic sanctions, because such actions would be hurtful to all party nations best interests.

L Poulin - November 2, 2018

Citizenship of the parents determine citizenship of their children, not location of birth.
Just like no voting rights for non-citizens, no public assistance of any kind for non-citizens. It should be that simple.

Donald Winders - November 2, 2018

Congress passed a bill, confirming the actions of President Trump, and Have the Naturalization and Immigration Dept. to uphold and enforce the laws, as they see fit.

Barbara Jarrells - November 2, 2018

Build The WALL! If the government fails to protect the American people as they were elected to do. The American people will eventually be forced to protect themselves. Maybe we should have our own caravan to the border. A “United States Citizen Wall” to reinforce the Army and the Border patrol. Please protect us! I will volunteer to come and help build a section of wall at not cost to the government.

Arthur Saliba - November 2, 2018

I strongly agree with all thsee 14 comments. I firmly support President Trump’s efforts to stop illegal immigrants. Not only stop them but prevent any alien from entering our country, it is our country, unless they do it properly as stipulated by our laws. We must stop illegals and remove all that are hear now or we are going to lose our country.

Esther Wolfson - November 2, 2018

Build the wall and deport all illegals to keep American citizens safe. No anchor babies.

Shirley Svetich - November 3, 2018

George Soros is the only one who has the money and the know how to instigate movements like this. Plus it has been done at a strategic period of time. Prior to and during our elections. Distract people and cause chaos, so we don’t vote and stand up for truth, justice and righteousness. The is one of the far left’s major tactics. Vote for those who uphold our Constitution, support President Trump who is doing all he can to restore our Democratic Republic, & repeal all of Obama’s illegal laws on immigration, Obama Care, etc. We must obey and enforce the immigration laws we have. These are not refugees seeking asylum or they would have accepted the help of the Mexican government offered to them. These are people who want free everything Obama offered, along with his illegal “arrest and release” policy, which allowed them to get into our nation, disappear, but vote for the Democrats even though they have no citizenship. Also, we have no law that allows citizenship to a child of illegal aliens born in the U.S. It has only been accepted as if it were. They must immigrate legally. And we must know our Constitution, our laws and our rights as citizens. Illegal aliens have no rights under our laws or our Constitution, even though they claim they do. That is a lie. As is most everything we hear from our mainstream media, which is also controlled by those who want to prevent you from knowing the truth. Search out and seek for truth and you will find it. All is not what it appears to be or what it seems to be.

Carol Morrisey - November 3, 2018

In addition to beefing up border security, changing the laws, and publicizing these changes all over Latin America, we should make it impossible or at least difficult for illegals to send money out of the country to their relatives back home. And make sure that no one gets either welfare or medical care without legal status. Make sure people know this before they come here.

Barbara Lauzon - November 3, 2018

I suggest we try using the same rules and regulations that we used about 100 years ago. It certainly workind then.

Jon Kirsch - November 3, 2018

Build the wall. No benefits unless you are a citizen. E-verify. Very high fines for those companies that violate our laws by hiring illegals. I am thinking that 10% of their annual income would be good.

Jack Niday - November 3, 2018

Why would reasoning people think that any “new law” would correct our immigration malady if the current laws are not enforced? Would not the new laws be enforced similarly, that is, manipulated by selective enforcement- or not.
New laws are not needed. Enforce the current laws and adjust within those confines. If immigration quota expansion is needed then adjust accordingly. No remedy in sight until immigration laws are enforced, no matter what one’s perspective of said laws may be.

David Boyd - November 3, 2018

Tighten the rules for granting asylum. It was meant as a refuge granted political offenders from a foreign country
This in addition to birthright citizenship needs to be changed.

Mrs. Phyllis Eix - November 3, 2018

Congress must do everything necessary to secure our border. Closing loopholes in current laws must be a priority, as well as closing and defending our border as quickly as it can be accomplished, starting now.

Dolores Gadevsky - November 3, 2018

1) Finish the Wall.
2) Eliminate birthright citizenship for
illegals, i.e., obey the Constitution.
3) Eliminate “catch and release”.
4) Eliminate government support of
nations actively sending illegals
5) Enforce the law, with the military if
6) Confine political asylum to lawful
entry points..

Christine Mueller - November 3, 2018

Thank God for President Trump and his undying commitment to our Constitution and the laws which govern our society. He’s bringing Birthright Citizenship to the forefront and rightfully so! The loop hole in the 14th amendment must be resolved once and for all. People should not be considered “citizens” simply because they are born in the U.S. if their parents are not citizens. If it were not for President Trump we would probably not even be talking about this very important issue. It must be dealt with now and hopefully after the midterms Congress will do so!

Paul Crosby - November 3, 2018

I agree with most of the comments. I believe George Soros citizenship should be revoked, he is very close to being a traitor. American citizenship for children born in USA should only be granted, if one of the parents is an American citizen. I have the highest regard for those that posted very thought out comments on this website, God Bless American.

albert stern - November 3, 2018

Enforce already existing laws.Do not allow non citizens permanent status.

Laurie J. - November 3, 2018

Reduce overall immigration. Take away all welfare benefits. End CHAIN migration they know once here with anchor baby, they bring in all the old, sick and extended family members. STOP all magnet programs. Abolish OTM laws and turn all back. STOP the MADNESS. STOP funding all countries, they are corrupt. NO MORE Tax dollars to Mexico, Central America countries, or the Caribbean islands. Freeze assets of these countries and it will get their attention. Tax remittances at 15% also.

Susan Rose - November 3, 2018

Congress should follow our Constitution and babies born to Illegal Aliens are not, according to the 14th ammenment, eligible for citizenship! Trump is right. The Left is wrong. We should all be Nationalists, and if we were, we would eliminate a ton of problems.

Ken Wicker - November 3, 2018

First fix/replace/modify existing laws so that all illegals (adults and minors) are photoed, fingerprinted, and DNA swab are taken. Then within no more than 72 hours they transported back over the border into Mexico by least expensive method. Second build the wall – physically or electronically and use troops during their two weeks of required training per year to assist in monitoring the border. This ensures that thousands of troops are rotating in and out of the border area on a continuous basis. Thirdly any caught entering illegally gives up their right forever of becoming a legal citizen. Lastly, immediately end all benefits to non-citizens. No medical care, food stamps, public housing, cash payments etc.

Steven Schmidt - November 3, 2018

To fix the immigration problem:
A) Change the public dialog from rights of illegals to Rights of Citizens. Citizenship should be on higher platform than non-citizens.
B) Benefits need to be prioritized to Citizens. We only have so much money, compassion, and time to handle non-citizens.
C) Until the situation is under control, Set a Budget for processing illegals. Just like all other items for roads, fire, police, spend only what is budgeted.
D) In may region, we have to vote on ballot measure to fund government basics(i.e., 911, fire department, roads, schools). But there is plenty of money for social issues which illegals spend most of. This is crazy and has to be reversed.

1) Require E-Verify for all employment. System has been in place since Reagan and can execute well.
2) Penalize with jail time employers who knowingly hire illegals.
3) Eliminate the “Free-bees”. Most state and local government have 10-30% pf their budget to handle benefits to illegals. It has to stop. These cut off the incentives. Namely:a) Must show proof of citizenship to enroll in public schools. Most districts now 20-50% illegal. b) Must show proof of citizenship for healthcare access. Most hospitals especially in rural areas are financially insolvent due to FREE care. Illegals use ER as primary care. c) Eliminate requirement that hospitals, etc provide free translation services. d) Eliminate requirement that illegals in federal custody have to have screening healthcare before deportation (i.e., screening mammograms). System is even crazier that if tumor found US taxpayers provide for the medical care. e) Eliminate right for illegals to have gender reassignment surgery. f) Eliminate FREE breakfast and lunch in the school system for illegals. g) Eliminate all government donations (i.e., dairy, cheese, bread) to non-profit food banks if predominately served population is illegals. h) Eliminate FREE legal representation if person in the courts system. i) Eliminate all access to housing, welfare benefits. Make proof of citizenship requirement for service.
4) Eliminate access to drivers license. Most states automatically enroll in voter roll once have a license.
5) Eliminate birthright citizenship.
6) Eliminate all multiple language requirements added to products by NAFTA. Citizens need to read and understand English.
7) Make English the Official language of government. Including everything published.
8) Build a Wall/ Barrier/ Surveillance towers/ Etc.
9) Hire more immigration judges, board control agents, ICE agents.
10) Build more “Temporary” shelters. Tent cities without air conditioning is fine.
11) Conduct round-ups at Home Depot. others where illegals congregate. Place in tent city until deported.
12) Provide one-way bus tickets back to non-violent offenders.
13) My state offers in-state tuition (and grants and scholarships) for illegals. That’s crazy. Eliminate the program.
14) Eliminate all lending to illegals. Car loans, VISA, etc. Don’t make it easy to live here.

Janet Scaruffi - November 3, 2018

What they should do is quit acting like 3rd graders NO IDIOTS ! Why is party association more important than the country and citizens that pay you to do the job of protecting the LAWS of the LAND. ILLEGAL look up the word folks.

helen - November 3, 2018

Build the wall. Enforce e- verify, current laws, support President Trump, protect our people, support ICE,, get rid of sanctuary cities, states, deport illegal aliens, stop money to countries sending illegals

Orlando J Perez SR - November 3, 2018

Emphasize no more illegal immigrants. Strengthen the immigration law so that illegals who are caught do not acquire more rights than being imprisoned or deported. Central American economic problems does not justify an invasion of illegals. Apply laws to US citizens who support illegal immigration. The current caravans are really a meditated social crisis to explode on the southern border of the US. Avoid mistakes in the use of lethal weapons.

James Bratten - November 3, 2018

Our immigration laws are not broken; the laws are BEING broken or simply ignored. Enforce the laws, including E-verify. If illegal aliens cannot find employment, they will leave. Also, stop remittances sent back to the home country by illegals here. Or tax so heavily the action will be curtailed.
Stop chain migration and the visa lottery. No releases into the country.
Refugees must meet strict criteria, which already exist. Asylum can only be applied for in two ways: at an American embassy within the alien’s home country or at a legal Port of Entry into the U.S. If you show up at our southern border and shout “refugee!” you will be turned away. You will not be allowed to enter the U.S. for a :hearing.”
Build the Wall. The authorization was passed by Congress in 2007. Obey the law passed by Congress – provide the funding and build it!

James Diehl - November 4, 2018

Alan Greenspan, former 20 year chairmen of the Federal Reserve Board, noted in an opinion published last week that Sweden faced the same entitlement spending shortfall crisis in 1990 that the United States now faces. He said that Sweden solved their crisis by moving entitlements to a defined contribution plan – like my 401K plan. I would get out of Social Security, Medicare, Health Care up to what I contributed. Applied to the immigrant population of the United States, defined contribution limits on entitlements would place a more open immigration system in a less objectionable view. Can we try this approach?

John Crews - November 4, 2018

Send all illegals back across the border immediately after taking their names or other identifying information. Tell them, if they come back illegally again, they will fined substantially or spend 30 or more days in jail. If they are determined to be criminals (including coyotes) , they will be turned over to their country’s law authorities. Those seeking asylum would be told to apply at the appropriate port of entry.

S. Dobbs - November 4, 2018

There is a legal immigration system in place that needs to be adhered to.

Charles Mould - November 4, 2018

1) Any person entering the US illegally shall be deported immediately, and barred from ever entering the US. If they violate this law they shall be incarcerated for life, with no outside contact with anyone.
2) A child born in the US only has a right to citizenship if at least one (1) parent is a US citizen at the time of their birth. This hall be verified by a DNA test.
3) Build the WALL along the US/Mexico border, making sure that it is strong enough to keep illegal immigration to an absolute minimum.
4) Every person currently in the US, who entered illegally shall be deported, and all Real and Personal property shall be confiscated and the proceeds used to help pay the governments cost for deportation. Prior to enforcement there shall be a 90 day period allowing all illegal aliens to voluntarily leave and retain their property. Those who take this option may apply for legal entry, and may then apply for US citizenship.

Sandra J Elliot - November 5, 2018

Living in a farming community I see the need for migrant qualified labor to help farmers and ranchers. The green card applications must absolutely be re-established with accurate monitoring for recipients and employers. Until American welfare system is turned on its head no one “needs” to work, and until education returns to meeting the interests/time/talents of K-12 students where education is “free”, Workers will not be “qualified” to work. “Outcome-based” or “standards-based” education is sucking the resources from the classroom and putting those dollars into the pockets of charlatans in publishing and testing industries, including Microsoft. This is a three-prong approach to immigration. Not easy but necessary or America fails.

Author Dustin Howard - November 5, 2018

Thank you for your thoughtful answer!

Robert Eischen - December 20, 2018

Do NOT spend tax dollars on building a wall. instead use the funds to feed and house the needy in their home countries and make it an international effort.

Rodolfo Walsh - December 29, 2018

Is it intentional that you don’t put a date
to your articles?
Rodolfo Walsh

Author Dustin Howard - January 2, 2019

No. It’s a function of our website’s design. Thank you for noticing.

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