United States Senate candidate Deb Fischer said during a news conference at the Capitol that the federal government must address illegal immigration.
“Illegal immigration, I believe, is a threat to our national security. I believe we need to secure our borders. We don’t know who’s coming into this country and we do not know what they’re bringing into this country,” Fischer told reporters. “And that’s a danger to all Americans.”
Fischer outlined her policy to halt illegal immigration during the news conference. Fischer, a Republican from Valentine, said the country needs to secure its borders as well as the nation’s ports and increase the number of border patrol and enforcement agents. Fischer advocates mandatory E-Verify system for employers and harsher penalties for businesses which hire illegal immigrants.
Fischer opposes establishing an expedited process toward citizenship and would support cutting off funding to local governments that create sanctuary cities. She would support providing money to local governments to enforce immigration laws.
Fischer, a state senator, voted against LB 599, which would extend prenatal care through the Medicaid program to illegal immigrants. Fischer claimed during the news conference that supporters haven’t been forthright about the bill, claiming it simply renews a program ended two years ago. She insisted it creates a new program.
“My concerns are with the cost involved to the citizens of Nebraska. My concerns are with the growth that this program could see and, then, we would see additional costs to the citizens in this state,” Fischer stated.
Supporters claim the cost to the state would total only around $650,000 annually, arguing that fiscal conservatives should support the move, because such small expenditures up front could save millions in the long run.
Fischer rejected the argument, saying that she has heard from numerous fiscal and social conservatives the past few days, all of whom oppose the measure.
Gov. Dave Heineman has threatened to veto the bill.
AUDIO: Republican US Senate candidate Deb Fischer discusses immigration in news conference [1:40]