The 8th district of Indiana is mirroring the nation's immigration population growth.
Representative John Hostettler (R-Wadesville) shared his thoughts on the nation's immigration population and more with the Greencastle Rotary Club on Wednesday.
Hostettler said he has "held scores of hearings on immigration" which he calls a prominent issue today.
In 1986, there were five million illegal aliens in the country when the Immigration Reform and Control Act was set in motion to reduce immigration. Yet, today there are 20 million immigrants in the country.
"Now we are at this situation because that didn't work," he said.
Hostettler said he wants to enforce current laws. He said if the country does nothing about being a job magnet for immigrants then immigrants from all over the world will still migrate toward the United States for better jobs.
Hostettler said this has already happened in Indiana's 8th district. He said that in the town hall meetings he has recently attended, 80 percent of the questions he has received have dealt with immigration. People from his district have told him that they can take him to their work sites and show him illegal immigrants doing their jobs.
Yet, Hostettler said, "It is still unlawful (to employ illegal aliens)." The current house bill proposes more border control and more internal enforcement.
"We make their presence in this country illegal," he said.
He wants to see employer sanctions aggressively enforced so self-deportation will take place instead of forceful deportation.
"These folks will be let go and have no reason to stay in America," Hostettler said.
But the Senate bill on immigration, "basically puts citizenship for sale," he said.
The (Harry) Reid-(Ted) Kennedy bill "makes legal some 14 million illegal immigrants," which is why the Republicans want to be in control, Hostettler said. Although he does believe that the House and the Senate can get together and agree to secure border control and interior enforcement.
Hostettler also presented a discussion on energy prices. He said decades of environmental extremism have led the nation to where it is today with copper, silver, oil and steel being at record level highs. Plus he said that more than 70 percent of the nation's oil is imported.
"We have not built a new refinery in our country since 1976," Hostettler said.
Therefore, the nation is seeing a rise in demand of alternative fuels. This is where he sees Indiana playing an important role in. He said an alternative fuel plant has already gone up in Mt. Vernon and with the natural resources available from local farmers, he said he is seeing the growth of alternative fuel plants in the 8th district as well as in Indiana during what he calls a "transition period."
Hostettler also spoke of the war in Iraq, but he spoke of more recent events, condemning Hezbollah.
"I firmly believe that Israel has a right to fully defend itself," Hostettler said.