These ideas are based on what border patrol agents and others know to be effective. They’re based on ideas that conservatives have been pursuing for many years. And they’re ideas based on many state of the art technologies available to us today that weren’t around in 1986, 1996 or even 2006. Together, these technologies will help us see who is coming across our border; the fence will make it harder for drugs and people to illegally cross; the increased manpower will make sure we apprehend those who cross; and the E-Verify system will make sure that there is no future for those who live in our country illegally. This is what’s needed to prevent a repeat of the disaster we have today.

What this bill says is you must do all of those things, and it is linked to legal permanent residence. In essence, someone who violated our immigration laws cannot apply to become a legal permanent resident of the United States until all five of those things happen. That’s the guarantee that this will happen.

In a perfect world, these measures would not even be necessary. In a perfect world, the federal government would have spent the previous decades enforcing our laws and keeping its promises of securing the border. But our immigration system as we know it is far from perfect. In fact, it’s painfully and dangerously broken.