Senate immigration debate begins heating up

Published 2:30 am Monday, June 4, 2007

By By Jo Bonner
As the Senate begins its consideration of a supposed compromise between Senate leadership and the White House, I have heard from many constituents on this emotionally charged issue.
Many of you share my concern with the alleged amnesty provisions in the bill. While the Senate is still negotiating a final version of the bill, we must stop illegals from coming into the United States in the future – not enhance their ability to enter the country and "fast track" their path to citizenship.
More than 11 million people have entered into our country illegally and are placing heavy burdens on our health care, education, and welfare systems and are not paying taxes.
Those who have come to our country illegally should not be rewarded and placed ahead of law-abiding legal immigrants who are willing to tackle the process of becoming an American citizen.
Our priority – first and foremost – must be to secure our borders and enforce the immigration laws already on the books. To do that, those on the front lines must be given the tools necessary to combat the flood of illegal immigrants into the United States.
In the 109th Congress, we worked diligently to construct new border fencing, install new technology and infrastructure, increase the number of border patrol agents, and give them the tools they need to help fight this battle.
There is no doubt – we must reform our current immigration system to allow the process to work more quickly and more efficiently, without compromising our national security.
2007 Academy Nominations
One of my greatest privileges as a member of Congress is to nominate qualified young men and women from Alabama's First District to our United States Service Academies.
So far this year, nine have received an appointment to one of the service academies. They are as follows:
United States Air Force Academy
United States Merchant Marine Academy
United States Military Academy
United States Naval Academy
The education students receive at the five United States Service Academies – the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy at New London, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at King's Point – is one of the best.
For those south Alabama students interested in attending a service academy, it is never too soon to begin the nomination process. One thing is certain – gaining admission to one of the five academies is not easy.
Interested students should contact my office to receive an application packet that includes details of the requirements for obtaining a nomination and general information about the academies.
This fall, I will host my annual Academy Night, which emphasizes the educational opportunities available and provides information on the requirements and procedures for seeking a congressional nomination. Representatives from each of the academies will also be on hand.
We look forward to working with any interested students and their families toward a nomination to one of the service academies. For more information, please contact Brooks Chew in my Baldwin County office at 251-943-2073 or visit my website at .
Congratulations to the students who have received appointments for the Class of 2011.
Class of 2007
This is the time of year when many young men and women are transitioning into a new phase of their lives. Proud parents and families throughout the First District and across the country are gathering at graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2007.
Two weeks ago, I had the privilege of speaking to the graduating seniors at Central Christian in Robertsdale. With pride and anticipation, parents – who have spent years paying tuition, buying books, and attending football games, cheerleading tournaments and spelling bee's – saw the culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice.
To all the graduates of the Class of 2007 – congratulations on your achievement, and remember your education never ends.
My staff and I work for you. If we can ever be of service, do not hesitate to call my office toll free at 1-800-288-8721 or visit my website at
Jo Bonner is a U.S. congressman. His column appears weekly.

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