Immigration —legal and illegal — is out of control.  Although we spend $25 billion every year on border security[1], our borders are now so porous it is increasingly difficult to define the US as a sovereign nation.

There are more than 11 million undocumented aliens in the country, nearly 4% of the population. Roughly half of the illegals are from Mexico, and a rising number are from other Central American countries afflicted by rising crime and violence, endemic corruption and a widespread deterioration in core social institutions.

Legal immigration is also far too high to be sustainable. There are now nearly 42 million immigrants in the country, constituting more than 13% of the total population — far higher than during the great immigration waves of the 19th and early 20th centuries.[2] More than a million people, most of them from underdeveloped countries and an increasing number from Islamic countries, enter the country every year under a variety of disjointed policies. It is impossible from a practical standpoint to vet such huge numbers of people for ties to terrorism and anti-American sentiment.

As a 29-year veteran of the Coast Guard, I understand the practical realities in protecting America’s 5,000 miles of border with Canada, 1,900 miles of border with Mexico and nearly 95,000 miles of coastal shoreline. I know that a wall is not enough. Controlling our borders will require significant investments in personnel, equipment and technology. It will also require major changes in immigration policy.

I will act immediately in Congress to re-establish control over our borders and enforce immigration law. I will also work to restructure core immigration law to maintain security and preserve the American way of life for future generations.

While Bill Shuster has voted for some measures sponsored by other legislators to resolve the immigration crisis, he has provided no leadership on the issue. His concern about immigration evaporates when lobbyists tell him to vote their way. In December 2014, Shuster voted for the $1.1 trillion “cromnibus” bill that fully funded President Obama’s “blank check” executive amnesty program. His fickleness on immigration is also evident in his stance supporting a massive expansion of H-1B visas for foreign workers, his enthusiastic support for open-ended worker importation clauses in the “free trade” bills he has helped to pass Congress, and his steadfast refusal to call for the removal of the 11 million illegals already in the country.

Virtually every country in the world except the United States enforces its immigration laws, imprisoning and deporting people who violate them. They do this not because illegal immigrants are bad people. They do it to defend the rule of law, to uphold their national sovereignty, to protect the interests of their own people and preserve their essential cultural characteristics.

Americans deserve nothing less. That’s why I will work to:

  • Remove illegal immigrants through deportation and attrition, defund “sanctuary cities” that promote illegal immigration, allow states to enforce immigration law, and revoke the visas and residency permits of aliens with criminal convictions.
  • Repeal the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (the Hart-Celler act), and reduce legal immigration to 250,000 per year.
  • End “birthright citizenship”.
  • Oppose the Rubio-Schumer Amnesty plan; phase out the H-1B program by 2020, and create non-renewable temporary work visas for essential foreign workers.
  • Keep out most Islamic Syrian refugees, and prevent European-style mass Islamic immigration.
  • Block entry to our country by citizens from 25 Islamic countries, with the exception of diplomats and heads of state, or people escaping religious persecution.
  • Repeal worker importation clauses supported by Bill Shuster in “free trade” deals.
  • Institute mandatory English language proficiency for all immigrants under the age of 60.
  • Make E-verify mandatory and impose harsh penalties on corporations that hire illegal immigrants.

Enforce immigration law

Illegal immigrants are much more likely to commit violent crimes in the United States than legal immigrants[3]. Some illegal immigrants import the organized criminality destroying their home societies. But even if all illegal immigrants were law-abiding and tax-paying, their very presence in the country is unlawful. American sovereignty demands that the borders be controlled, and that all immigrants be here by invitation only. That means we can no longer avoid the unpleasant but necessary task of removing people who are here unlawfully.

Establishment Republicans like Bill Shuster and their Democrat Party allies claim that deporting illegal immigrants is “unrealistic.” This is the false rationale of “amnesty.” Our government is entirely capable of deporting large numbers of illegal immigrants humanely and efficiently, as it did routinely until 1965.  Once it becomes clear that America is serious about enforcing the law, the majority of illegal immigrants will leave on their own accord.

Amnesty for illegal immigrants offends the rule of law and those who came here legally. It is also a betrayal to future generations of Americans, and a signal to the rest of the world that America’s immigration laws are there to be broken. We must never provide a “pathway to citizenship” for illegal immigrants.  People who break immigration laws must be arrested and deported, as they are in every other country in the world.

Re-establish traditional criteria for legal immigration.

Tens of millions of immigrants have entered the United States in recent decades with no intention of assimilating into American culture. This is a far cry from traditional immigration patterns where people have come to this country eager to “become Americans.”

New immigrants have always retained ethnic pride and nostalgia for their home countries. There is nothing wrong with that, and in fact, it enriches our culture. America has always been a melting pot of many peoples and cultures that blend together to make for a rich stew of varying food, music, clothing, and religions.

But in recent years, the academic elite has rejected the melting pot model in favor of a “tossed salad,” “multicultural” approach in which new immigrants are discouraged from assimilating into American culture. This is prompted by a fundamental hostility by these elites to all things American and a desire to actively undermine American principles such as respect for law, private property, religious freedom, freedom of speech, and adherence to the Constitution.

This hostility to traditional American values was codified in the misguided Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (the Hart-Celler Act). The law discouraged traditional immigration in favor of a new system that was intentionally blind to culture, ethnicity and religion, while applying new numerical caps to immigration from traditional source countries in western and northern Europe.

I believe the United States must re-affirm its future as a western, democratic, Judeo-Christian country. A sensible immigration policy will not exclude people on the basis of race or religion (though it can and should assess ideology as a factor in the suitability of applicants). Nor would it exclude non-European immigration. But it will — without any apology — require new immigrants to be knowledgeable of and committed to the principles that have bound the American people together for nearly 250 years.
Limited, legal immigration is beneficial, provided it is part of a comprehensive policy that preserves the social and cultural stability of the country. Nationality, ethnicity, culture and ideology — as well as skills, humanitarian considerations and family ties — are all legitimate factors in determining eligibility for immigration.

I will work to repeal the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, and replace it with pro-sovereign immigration law designed to preserve the prosperity, security, language and culture of the United States. I will introduce legislation capping legal immigration at 250,000, almost all of which will consist of the immediate relatives and spouses of U.S. citizens.

Eliminate federal funding for “sanctuary cities”, and empower state police to enforce immigration law

The United States is virtually the only country in the world that not only allows illegal immigrants to stay on U.S. soil, but also allows local governments to shelter illegal migrants in defiance of U.S. law. Many major U.S. cities have passed laws that forbid local law enforcement from inquiring about the immigration status of any individual, even criminals.

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision (Scalia, Thomas and Alito dissenting) wrongly reversed decades of solid legal precedents in Arizona v. United States, holding that Arizona’s law allowing police to arrest illegal immigrants without a warrant illegally “pre-empted” the federal government. Before this ruling, the right of the states to enforce immigration law was upheld by dozens of federal and Supreme Court rulings.[4]

I understand that the constitution allows the states to work with the federal government to enforce federal law, including immigration law. I will work to end any federal funding to cities with “sanctuary” laws. I will introduce legislation that specifically grants authority to states to arrest those who violate immigration law and hand them over to the federal government for deportation.

Phase out the H-1B program, and replace it with temporary work permits

Since the mid-1960s, policy governing legal immigration has been controlled by a powerful alliance of left-wing Democrats who see votes in changing the ethnic and cultural composition of the country, and Cartel Republicans who want to please lobbyists by importing cheap labor at every skill level, from agricultural workers to nuclear engineers.

I will oppose this alliance, and assert a patriotic immigration policy that favors American workers and traditional American communities.

The first order of business will be to phase out the H-1B visa program and replace it with a non-renewable temporary employment visa program. No company should have an automatic right to import foreign labor at any skill level unless it can prove that hiring domestically is impossible.

The American “skills shortage” cited by proponents of the H-1B program does not exist.  Policies allowing for the importation of hundreds of thousands of foreign technical workers and engineers have been driven primarily by lobbyists representing big corporate donors hoping to drive down wages.[5]

In 2013, the U.S. Senate passed the Rubio-Schumer immigration “reform” bill, which promises a “path to citizenship” for illegal aliens, and also raises the number of H1-B visas from 65,000 per year to 180,000 per year.  It was supported by the bi-partisan “Gang of Eight” that includes the Washington Cartel luminaries Marco Rubio (R-Fl), Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Charles Schumer (D-NY). Two Republican Senators voted against the bill because they felt it did not go far enough. They wanted to increase the number of H1- B visas as much as 350,000 a year.

The bill stalled in the House of Representatives, despite the enthusiastic support of Cartel members like Bill Shuster, after former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was defeated by conservative primary foe David Brat in 2014.  The bill has since been roundly condemned by conservatives — including Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) — but House Speaker Paul Ryan might well try to push it through after the presidential election in November this year.

The Rubio-Schumer bill would be a disaster for immigration control. In addition to offering amnesty to illegal aliens and boosting the issuance of H-1B visas, it includes a provision to automatically award green cards to foreign students upon graduation from a U.S. university with a master’s degree or Ph.D. in engineering or other technical field of study. Many in the House of Representatives, including Bill Shuster, remain keen on supporting the bill.

Rubio-Schumer is bad policy that will worsen the immigration crisis and further depress wages and job opportunities for skilled U.S. STEM workers. I will vote to kill it.

End “Birthright Citizenship”

Soon after the Civil War, Congress ratified the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which sought to afford full citizenship rights to all Americans, including newly liberated slaves in the south. The “citizenship clause” of the amendment reads as follows:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

The intent of this language was to both extinguish the vestiges of slavery and to guarantee citizenship to lawful immigrants — not to give the children of temporary visitors automatic citizenship.[6]  Over time, however, the courts began interpreting the 14th Amendment as guaranteeing citizenship to children of illegal immigrants as well. Now all children born in the U.S. are granted automatic citizenship whether or not their parents are here legally.

The result is a bourgeoning “anchor baby” industry catering to illegal immigrants and phony tourists who come to the U.S. to give birth. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, some 200,000 children are born in the U.S. every year to women admitted to the country as “tourists, students, guest workers and other non-immigrant categories”.[7] More than 66% of babies born in Los Angeles County have mothers who entered this country illegally[8].  The Pew Hispanic Center reports that there were 4.5 million children in the U.S. whose parents were illegal, and that 8% of all US births were to at least one undocumented alien parent.[9]

The “anchor baby” ploy must end. I will support efforts like H.R. 140, sponsored by Rep.  Steve King (R-Iowa), which would control birthright citizenship not by amending the constitution, but by requiring that at least one parent be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.

End mass Islamic immigration

“We have 50 million Muslims in Europe. There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe—without swords, without guns, without conquest—will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.”

Muammar Gaddaffi, 2006

While Congressman Bill Shuster’s November 2015 call for a “pause” to the influx of Syrian refugees is welcome, it does not go far enough. Shuster has thus far failed to articulate a plan to protect America from European-style mass Islamic immigration that not only grants sanctuary to terrorists, but is ripping European societies to shreds. Ideology must once again be a lawful and legitimate factor in determining eligibility for immigration, and that will require the repeal of the deeply flawed Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.

Muslim Americans enjoy the same inalienable rights in our country — including the rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” — as all Americans. The Constitution affords these rights to all legal residents, whether they are native-born U.S. citizens or have been granted the privilege to settle here as lawful immigrants.

However, as a sovereign nation, the United States has an obligation to control its borders in the interests of its citizens. It must protect the population from terrorism, crime and the use of cheap labor used to suppress wages. The government also has a responsibility to preserve the essential cultural characteristics of our country.

The immigrants we welcome to the United States must be those who are least likely to commit crimes, most likely to assimilate to the American way of life, and most likely to succeed. While race is a very poor indicator of such factors, ideology is not.

Islamic immigration poses special security risks. The most obvious of these risks is posed by jihadi terrorists. It only takes one deranged, dedicated extremist to cause a great deal of misery and destruction. As we learned on September 11, 2001, one well-executed terrorist attack can prompt a security response restricting the civil liberties Americans have enjoyed for generations.

The most rational way to respond to this threat is by constraining the flow of immigrants from predominately Islamic countries, as Senators Rand Paul and Jeff Sessions have both wisely suggested.[10] We must reduce the number of prospective immigrants so we can adequately screen each one. In Congress I will push legislation prohibiting immigration from 25 predominately Islamic countries–with the exception of foreign diplomats and heads of state or people escaping religious persecution under these regimes.

While the majority of such extremists come from Islamic countries, decades of lax immigration controls in Europe means that many extremists now carry European passports. To protect our own security, we must reclaim and employ the discretionary sovereign right to use a variety of criteria — including ideological criteria — to exclude people who pose a threat to the security of the United States.

The threat of terrorism is not the only reason Islamic immigration should be restricted. We know by observing the European experience that large Islamic communities often resist assimilation and resent European culture. Despite generous state welfare support that pays for housing, health care and education, large swaths of such communities are heavy criminalized. European Islamic leaders often rely on the politics of victimization and grievance-mongering to obtain special concessions, even where they violate local cultural norms and the rule of law. Examples include the establishment of special Sharia (Islamic law) courts, and bans on the sale of pork and alcohol.

In western societies, Muslims are free to pick and choose what they find appealing in Islam and discard (or re-interpret) the rest. In America, we find Muslim intellectuals who champion free speech, freedom of religion and the rights of women. And there are minority branches of Islam — the Sufis for example — where the traditional rigidity and intolerance of the religion has been discarded in favor of a more mystical or pluralistic worldview.

But such minority sects in Islam are threatened with extinction in many Islamic countries, and most of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims have absolutely no choice in what they are expected to believe. The punishment for apostasy in Islam is death. And in Islam — especially Sunni Islam, which accounts for about 85% of the global Muslim population — the most radical sects, such as Salafism and Wahhabism, are now ascendant, while more moderate Islamic worldviews are fading, even among Muslim communities in western countries. [11]

While America should always remain open to small numbers of intellectuals, artists and dissidents from the Middle East and the Islamic world, mass Islamic immigration would threaten the very fabric of American civilization. It is one thing if a gifted Muslim professor of political science at a Syrian university applies for political asylum in the US.  If he or she is educated, skilled, and willing to assimilate into U.S. society on American terms, he should be welcome. But importing entire Islamic communities from the Middle East — especially from socially retrograde countries like Yemen, Somalia and Sudan — is not in the interest of the American people.

End worker importation schemes in “free trade deals”

While “campaign-season conservatives” like Bill Shuster are careful to maintain positive rankings from groups opposed to illegal immigration, their commitment to preserving America ends when corporate lobbyists issue instructions that conflict with that aim.

Bill Shuster opposes any criminal penalties for corporations that hire illegal immigrants, claiming that, “businesses cannot be asked to play the role of law enforcement”. He also votes routinely for provisions in “free trade” agreements that eliminate U.S. sovereignty prerogatives over immigration.

For example, Shuster voted in favor of the worker-importation program created in 2003 with the Chile Free Trade Agreement, H.R. 2738, which allows for a virtually unlimited number of workers in Chile to enter the U.S. each year as “traders or investors” or purport to “establish, develop, administer or provide advice or key technical services” to Chilean-invested businesses.  Congress is barred by the treaty from restricting the numbers of such workers in any way, and workers thus imported are not subject to the quotas governing Chileans who come to the U.S. each year under standard immigration procedures.[12]

Shuster voted for a nearly identical worker-importation scheme found in the Singapore Free Trade Agreement (H.R. 2739 of 2003). As with Chile, Congress is now prohibited from placing any numerical limits on the issuance of L-1 visas to Singapore nationals and permanent residents.

Make E-verify mandatory

The federal E-Verify system, established in 1996, has proven very effective in preventing the employment of illegal aliens. However, an alliance of corporate lobbyists and left-wing advocates for illegal immigrants have prevented its universal, mandatory application.

Unsurprisingly, Bill Shuster has taken no action to promote mandatory E-Verify. While his constituents support mandatory E-Verify by overwhelming margins, the revolving door lobbyists who set Shuster’s agenda do not. Hence, all we hear from Shuster on the issue is vague, evasive pronouncements, such as: “businesses cannot be asked to play the role of law enforcement, Congress can encourage worker verification through a serious program of penalties and incentives.”

In practice, therefore, Shuster opposes mandatory E-Verify. In Congress, I will work to implement it nationwide. I will support efforts like those of Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tx), Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo) to make E-Verify mandatory for all employers in the United States.

A patriotic immigration policy

In Congress I will consecrate my efforts toward the protection of our country’s borders, and the survival of American democracy and civilization.  The privilege of immigration should be afforded to those most deserving, those most likely to contribute, and those most likely to assimilate and adapt to American ways of life.  We must, without apology, exclude those most likely to pose a threat to American ways of life, be they individual terrorists or entire communities of people arriving with no plans to Americanize.

Art Halvorson
March 2016

[1] DHS budget FY2016

[2] US Census Bureau, 2014

[3] American Thinker: Illegal aliens murder at a higher rate July 2015.


[5] Pink Slips at Disney. But First, Training Foreign Replacements. By Julia Preston June 3, 2015

[6] John Eastman, We Can Apply the 14th Amendment While Also Reforming Birthright Citizenship, National review, August 2015.

[7] WD Reasoner, Center for Immigration Studies: Birthright Citizenship for the Children of Visitors: A National Security Problem in the Making? March 2011

[8] US Border Control,

[9] Pew Hispanic Center, A Nation of Immigrant, January 2013.


[11] Quintan Wiktorowicz, Radical Islam Rising: Muslim Extremism in the West,  Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. (21 July 2005)


Download and save a copy of this Immigration whitepaper, Immigration control: Rebuilding American Sovereignty, here.


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