America is a land of hope and opportunity for immigrants. But the opportunity must not be abused.

A flood of illegal immigrants threatens job stability in America. We often hear the argument that illegal immigrants do the jobs that Americans will not do. However, illegal immigrants artificially hold down the pay for many jobs. Americans can’t compete for these jobs because, unlike illegal immigrants, they have to pay taxes, social security and Medicare.

Another argument commonly used is that we must have comprehensive immigration reform. This argument has been used for years in order to avoid making progress in securing our borders. I do not believe we have to have an all or nothing approach to the problem of illegal immigration. We need to address this problem and we need to do it now. We should create a positive immigration policy one step at a time.

Immigration by criminal elements strains law enforcement. It floods the country with dangerous narcotics, which fosters urban blight and gang activity. America mustn’t be a dumping ground forviolent criminals from foreign countries.

Virginia has begun making progress in identifying illegal immigrants who are serious felons and those who frequently drive drunk and without insurance. Those who commit serious crimes must be punished by law, then permanently deported to their native countries.