Thom’s Work on Immigration Solutions

Senator Tillis has established himself as a national leader pushing for secure borders and a merit-based immigration system, working to break decades of gridlock and inaction from Republicans and Democrats.

Advocating for secure borders

Thom is a strong supporter of President Trump's plan to secure our borders and keep America safe and has proposed commonsense solutions, including joining Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) to introduce legislation that secures our borders through a major investment in technology, infrastructure, and personnel and strengthens enforcement of existing immigration laws.

Thom has consistently raised concerns about the continued consequences of insecure borders – including humanitarian risks to adults and children and the rise of narcoterrorist organizations that have contributed to America’s opioid addiction crisis. Thom has encouraged his Republican and Democratic colleagues to work together and support the President's plan to fix the problem.

For the last 40 years, elected officials in Washington have repeatedly tried to secure our nation’s southern border and fix our broken immigration system, but every attempt at comprehensive reform legislation has failed. While some falsely assume that this prolonged failure only affects border communities, the reality is that it has also created disastrous repercussions for the rest of the nation. This point was made abundantly clear when I recently joined fellow members of Congress for an extensive tour of the Texas-Mexico border, spending days meeting with border patrol agents who work tirelessly to stop illegal trafficking and contraband and keep our nation safe.

Senator Thom Tillis

The Hill, Op-Ed

A national leader on solving DACA and providing long-term certainty

Thom has been a national leader in finding a solution to provide long-term certainty for undocumented children who were brought to the United States through no fault of their own. Following President Trump’s announcement that he was phasing out the DACA program, Thom took action by introducing the SUCCEED Act, a fair and merit-based solution that allows the DACA-eligible population to earn and keep legal status as long as they work hard, give back to society, pay their taxes, and follow the law.

…The North Carolina senator has emerged as one of the key lawmakers working across the aisle to compromise on immigration legislation. A key issue Tillis is trying to find consensus between Democrats and Republicans on providing legal protections to the nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children….Tillis is trying to find the sweet spot. The North Carolina Republican is part of a group of lawmakers who have been negotiating on how to pair legal protections for the Dreamers with enough increased border security to satisfy Republicans, but not be too extreme as to turn off Democrats.

“On DACA, Republican Sen. Thom Tillis wants to find middle-ground”

USA Today

Leading on incremental, step-by-step immigration solutions

Thom recognizes the failure to secure the borders and address our nation’s broken immigration system has been a bipartisan failure over the last four decades. Instead of continuing the same tried and failed efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform—Thom has proposed an incremental and step-by-step approach that would pair bipartisan policies together so we can begin to fix the problem.

A Republican senator is trying to break years of congressional gridlock over immigration with a new plan that would pair changes sought by Democrats with those pushed by his own party. At a time when President Donald Trump’s promise to build a wall along the southern border is dominating the immigration discussion, Sen. Thom Tillis (R., N.C.) has been talking with a handful of Democrats and Republicans to build support for a broader overhaul. His plan would aim to tighten border security and toughen enforcement of immigration laws—goals often cited by Republicans—while addressing the fate of the roughly 11 million immigrants currently in the U.S. illegally, a Democratic priority.

“GOP Senator Lays Groundwork for Broad Immigration Overhaul”

Wall Street Journal

Supporting legal immigration and temporary visa programs to support American workers and small businesses

Thom has been a national leader in efforts to reform temporary worker programs, building bipartisan coalitions to garner broad consensus. Thom has been a leader on reforming the H-2B visa program, which is vital to small and seasonal small employers in North Carolina and across the country who depend on temporary legal workers to sustain their businesses. Senators Tillis and Angus King (I-ME) introduced the Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2017, bipartisan legislation that provides more long-term certainty for seasonal employers. Thom also successfully urged the Department of Homeland Security to provide 15,000 additional H-2B visas to assist seasonal small businesses facing labor shortages this year.

Working across the aisle to end family separation

As media outlets reported that children were being separated from their families at the border, Thom took action by urging President Trump to keep families together and authoring legislation that keeps families together while ensuring the integrity of our nation’s immigration laws. Thom’s legislation requires that children and their parents remain together during their legal proceedings.

We should not be separating children migrants from their families. I believe we can strike the right balance between being compassionate and also being smart by taking steps to prevent future illegal immigration.

Senators Thom Tillis