Securing our national borders must be accomplished soon in order to protect America’s security. American politicians spend a great deal of time and money on U.S. Customs, particularly relating to aviation security, as a result of 9-11. I was a pilot for American Airlines during this tragedy and saw first-hand what happens to our business and our people when U.S. borders are left unprotected.

As your state representative, I will speak with federal House and Senate members, pressing the issues of protecting our borders and stopping illegal immigration. Only the U.S. Congress can pass legislation to protect America and its borders.

I have witnessed through my business experience as a consultant for a tool and die business the effect illegal immigration has on the cost of doing business at a state level. State and federal governments have placed the responsibility of identifying illegal immigrants on businesses. This burden reduces profitability, lowers pay, and decreases benefits for existing employees who are either American citizens or documented workers.

It is also important to realize that once an illegal immigrant is issued a driver’s license, they not only have the ability to vote, but to receive medical and social benefits; all courtesy of Michigan taxpayers. The Michigan Secretary of State issues drivers’ licenses to anyone who provides the required documents. However, Michigan is one of ten states that do not conduct background checks to verify the documents are valid. Illegal immigrant groups know it is easy to get a drivers’ license in Michigan by using false documentation. In fact, other states advertise to their illegal immigrant populations in newspapers, recommending they come to Michigan to apply. As a result, we are one of four states that received an “F” for fraudulent application checks in a study completed after 9-11. The Secretary of State has the capability to verify the documentation but has no mandate from the Governor or legislature to do so.

The Michigan Secretary of State should be mandated to verify documentation, identify illegal immigrants, and to contact the appropriate federal agencies to deport illegal immigrants. This would significantly reduce business costs and allow taxpayer dollars to be better spent on American citizens and legal immigrants.

It is time for Michigan legislators and the U.S. Congress to do the right thing: protect Michigan business and employees from illegal immigration. Together we can make this happen.