6th District candidates agree that immigration system needs changes

October 23, 2008

As part of this month's coverage of the Nov. 4 election for Maryland's 6th District seat in Congress, The Herald-Mail asked the three candidates to respond in up to 100 words to a few questions about issues.

Last week, the candidates talked about health care.

This week's question is: How should the U.S. handle illegal immigration?

U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, Republican

One of America's greatest strengths is that it is the most welcoming nation on Earth to immigrants. However, our immigration system is broken. I oppose amnesty for illegal aliens. Amnesty would undermine America's foundation as a country based upon the rule of law. I have supported bills to improve enforcement, as well as increase and improve border security, including improved fences along the southern border crossed most. I support punishing companies that knowingly hire illegal immigrants. I have initiated efforts with local governments to identify and deport the violent illegal immigrants who pose the greatest threat to our communities.


Jennifer Dougherty, Democrat

The federal government must regain control of immigration policy by controlling our borders and ports, improving record-keeping for visas, requiring businesses to comply with legal hiring practices with an effective e-verify system and raising penalties for hiring undocumented workers, and introducing legislation that will allow working immigrants to follow a clear and fair process by creating a payroll deduction system for workers who are earning citizenship status that would shift the burden from the general fund to cover immigration enforcement. They pay for the cost of their processing a paycheck at a time!

Gary W. Hoover Sr., Libertarian

We must start with sealing our borders. We must also enforce all of our immigration laws. Unfortunately, identifying and locating 20 million illegal aliens is beyond the capacity of the immigration department. Congress must authorize all federal, state and local law enforcement to hold illegal aliens and turn them over to the immigration authorities. We also need to overhaul our current immigration process so that those that come here legally can become citizens quicker than the current process permits. This would reward those that come here legally and free up immigration officers to work on the illegal immigration.

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