Our immigration system is broken and things as they now stand must not continue. Three steps are needed to solve this crisis. We must secure the border by building a wall, reform our immigration policies and focus on dealing with the millions of illegal immigrants already in our country. Border security and enforcing existing laws must be the starting points for addressing the current situation with immigration. Lasting reforms cannot be made without first ensuring that every immigrant that enters our country does so lawfully. It is in the national interest to know exactly who and what comes across our borders. A new set of policies must be developed and incorporated into our immigration laws. Arbitrary quotas, a wide range of visas and a diversity lottery do not put our interests first. We should prioritize legal immigration so that highly skilled entrepreneurs can enter. It is they who will help grow our economy through innovative research and new businesses. A guest worker plan for agricultural workers and others doing low-skill jobs should have no bearing on citizenship and these workers should not receive taxpayer benefits. As for the millions of illegal immigrants who are already here, amnesty is not an option. Every year people from around the world apply to immigrate to America. They follow the rules and most are turned away or wait years for approval to enter. Allowing illegal immigrants to step in front of these lawful applicants is not fair and rewards illegal behavior. Current illegal immigrants must face penalties for their actions and wait at the back of any immigration line. If they have committed other crimes while in the country, then they should not be allowed to get in line at all. As a Christian, I believe it is important that we do not forget that immigrants are real people, many in search of a better life. America has been a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws. We should never forget that their better life does not need to come at the expense of American workers or taxpayers.

Budget and Fiscal Responsibility

Our nation is at a crossroads as to how we determine our fiscal priorities. Democrats believe we should tax and spend more. As a fiscal conservative, I believe that we need to cut spending and restrain our federal government. Congress does not have a blank check for unlimited programs, and it is critically important that we balance the federal budget. With the national debt being more than $23 trillion dollars, reducing our debt and annual deficits are some of the greatest challenges facing our nation. I used to believe that Congress could do its job with the power of the purse. Unfortunately, the recent past has demonstrated congressional lack of ability to control budgets and the debt. Therefore, I am a strong proponent of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. A balanced budget amendment is the only way to guarantee that Washington will live within its means. As a conservative, I also believe that the best way to pay off our debt and live within our means is to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and to grow the economy. A strong economy generates higher revenue to fund necessary programs without adding to the national debt. This can be achieved by further reducing regulatory burdens and permanently reforming the tax code. The Democratic Party has become true believers in socialism and communism. This is a sure path to the downfall of our great country. As your elected representative in Congress, I will ensure that the work ethic and economic values of District 17 will be brought to Washington D.C.

Defense and National Security

The first priority of the federal government is, and must always remain, the defense of our nation. Our armed services have created a more secure world and helped ensure our safety. As a nation, we must always remain prepared. While the specific threats to our freedoms have changed over the years, the need for a strong military has not. We cannot hollow out our armed forces like we did in the 1990s, which left us unprepared for the threats of the new century. A strong national defense is necessary not just for traditional geopolitical adversaries such as China and Russia, but for lesser aggressors like Iran, North Korea, Al-Qaeda, ISIS and their affiliates. Hypersonic missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, cyber security threats, as well as standing up a new Space Corps military branch are areas that the next Congress will address. Being an aerospace professional and holder of a Department of Defense security clearance, I believe I have a unique ability to help Congress properly focus on new approaches and technologies to help defend our nation.

Traditional Family Values and Sanctity of Life

Over the past decade, our country has veered away from the traditional values that have provided the foundation of our culture and society. Liberals and progressives have sought to systematically destroy many of the ideals that have made this country great. These attempts at structural change have focused on the family unit and core constitutional principles. Furthermore, I strongly support federal laws and a constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman. The federal judiciary should not force any state to accept a redefinition of marriage. There should be federal legal recognition of traditional marriage because that is what best protects the basic unit of society: the family. As a Christian, I believe that God knows us and creates us at the moment of conception. I am the strongest possible supporter of the right to life and of the need to protect the lives of those unable to protect themselves. As long as I am your District 17 representative in Washington, I will sponsor and support legislation that restricts the federal funding of abortion facilities and organizations that provide abortions.

Constitutional Rights

Core constitutional principles are also under attack. As your District 17 representative, I will vigorously support and defend the First, Second, and Tenth amendments. First and foremost, religious freedom is the bedrock on which this nation was founded. Tied to this is freedom of speech. The right to believe and talk as one wishes is quintessentially American. The political left has proposed dangerous legislation aimed at undermining the first amendment. I will vehemently fight the “inequality act” and other similar bills in Congress. I am also an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment and am committed to preserving the right of individuals to purchase, possess and use firearms as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Gun control advocates fail to recognize that it is people, not guns, who are responsible for illegal actions. Their efforts at tightening gun laws will only take guns away from law abiding citizens and not criminals who use firearms to commit crimes. Last, but not least, in the Bill of Rights is the Tenth Amendment which reserves many undelegated powers to the States. Congress and the federal judiciary have usurped many of these powers and I believe that this needs to be reversed. Our current public discourse would be much more civil if we allowed each state to make its own decision regarding the welfare of its citizens.

Agriculture, Energy and the Environment

America is blessed with abundant resources and it is vital that our nation maintain a robust agriculture industry. Our nation’s food supply is the result of hardworking farmers and ranchers, the private ownership and stewardship of resources, and a sound public farm policy. We must provide our agricultural industry the tools they need to deal with a risky and uncertain business, while protecting American taxpayer dollars and fixing ineffective programs. Texas has always been a national leader in the energy sector. With our bountiful reserves, the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of our citizens as well as good old-fashioned hard work, we have seen a revolution in energy production that has increased our energy independence and unleashed American energy dominance. We must continue to have a comprehensive national energy strategy that is rooted in reality and what works, one that bolsters our national security, ensures inexpensive sources of energy, and promotes the American economy. Also, for too long we have been presented with the false choice that food and energy production come at the expense of environmental safeguards. As an engineer, I believe that I could provide Congressional insight as to the appropriate balance between scientific and economic considerations. All Americans, no matter their political affiliation, should strive to be good stewards of the earth and protect the blessings we have been given.