Sheriff Richard Jones headed to D.C. to talk immigration reform - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Butler Co. Sheriff to discuss immigration reform in D.C.

Posted: Updated: Jan 29, 2013 07:44 PM
BUTLER COUNTY, OH (FOX19) -

It's an issue that gets people on both sides fired up. On Tuesday, the fight over immigration reform was red hot in Washington and right here in the Tri-State after President Obama's announcement, saying "now is the time" to fix broken immigration laws.

Under his plan, immigrants living in the United States illegally would be able to move towards citizenship once they have passed national security and criminal background checks, as well as have current taxes and are able to speak English.

Supporters argue that passing the immigration reform would financially account for the 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States.

On the flip side, the burden falls on the government to support millions of individuals, and introduces them to programs like welfare and social security.

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones will head to Washington D.C. this week to meet with the National Sheriff's Immigration Committee. He's been an active member for many years and feels this immigration reform is more about both parties pleasing voters, and not solving the bigger issue.

"This is Ohio," said Sheriff Jones. "We're a little ways from Mexico. We're a little ways from China. We're a little ways from all these countries, but the drugs still come in, the criminals still come in, and the violence and the gangs."

Sheriff Jones said the immigration reform currently on the table needs to include more things, but most importantly anything implemented needs to be enforced.

"I'm afraid that what our government is introducing is going to kill the welfare system, social security," explained Jones. "It's just going to be more of a burden on these people, people who have jobs here, Americans, U.S. citizens."

"Eleven million people are not just going to be given a blanket waiver," explained George Fee, board member for the Hispanic Chamber Cincinnati and an immigration attorney. "There are going to be lots of hoops that they need to jump through."

George Fee is a board member for the Hispanic Chamber and also an immigration attorney. He feels it will be good for the economy to document and employ immigrant workers.

"The business community will be coming online," Fee added. "Lots and lots of businesses, maybe the more cyclical ones, really depend on the immigrant labor."

Fee said the discussion on immigration reform is still in its early phases and will likely continue well into the summer months, but a resolution could be a win-win for everyone.

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