Those fines would be used to dramatically tighten border security, establish a system to ensure that people overstaying visas (who account for nearly half of the undocumented population) can be identified, and implement a functional, mandatory workplace authorization system, removing the incentive of work that tempts desperate individuals to migrate unlawfully.
The Senate's bill appropriately combines compassion for immigrants — recognizing their dignity as people made in God's image, the importance of family unity, and their desire to embrace the responsibilities of citizenship — with respect for the rule of law, ensuring secure national borders and fairness to taxpayers. According to the Congressional Budget Office's analysis, it would also dramatically reduce the federal deficit, which means that it's also good fiscal stewardship.
I and many other evangelical Christians are grateful for the Senate's leadership. Along with people of faith throughout the nation, we've committed to pray that God would give our elected officials wisdom and courage to solve this problem once and for all with common-sense, broad-based, bipartisan immigration reform.
Cabrera is the Hispanic pastor at Quail Springs Baptist Church in Oklahoma City.