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Isakson: Keep resolve in Iraq
Georgia senator addresses Statesboro Rotary Club
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The global war on terror is the ultimate battle of good and evil and Americans must remain resolved to see the fight through, Senator Johnny Isakson said Monday afternoon.
    Isakson (R-Ga.), speaking at the Statesboro Rotary Club, said we are fighting an enemy who would just as soon take the lives of others as they would take their own.
    "We fight an enemy that is a hijacked faction of a religion where people are brainwashed, their poverty's taken advantage of and they declare ware on the United States of America, but really war on the entire free world," he said.
    And while soldiers are off fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, Isakson said there was another battle being fought, and that is for the hearts and minds of the American public.
    "(Terrorists) can't defeat us on the battlefield and they can never overcome the power of freedom and democracy unless we decide to quit," Isakson said. "And that's exactly what's going on in this war right now and it's exactly why it's so important for us to stay the course and remain resolved."
    Isakson said it was critical for the United States to remain focused on the war on terror because if the county were to pull its troops out, it would declare victory for the terrorists.
    In addition to the war on terror, Isakson spoke about the immigration debate that is ongoing in the country today.
    "I think the last year of discussion on immigration has brought a lot of people together who recognize it is the number one issue, domestically, for the citizens of this country," he said.
    The primary focus of immigration reform should be to secure the borders, which Isakson estimated would cost $6.2 billion, which he said sounds like a lot, "but in the scheme of things, isn't much when you consider how much our broken immigration system is costing us."
    He said five changes would greatly enhance our border security, including unmanned aircraft patrolling the borders, more border patrol agents, detention facilities for those arrested entering the United States illegally, investment in the prosecution of those cases and roads, barriers and other obstacles in those areas to make it harder to gain entry into the country.
    In addition to that, Isakson said we need to address the issue of the approximately 12 million people who are in this country illegally. Of those, he estimated 95 percent had jobs working in the peanut industry, cotton industry and hospitality industry, among others.
    "If we lost them, we'd be in trouble," he said.
    He recommended giving all those here illegally a chance to come forward and be recognized and then be given a criminal background check and terrorist check and verify the are employed.
    If all those come back clean, they would get a two-year guest worker permit that could be renewed every two years.
    "That's the way you manage the system and they will readily come forward and identify themselves once they know the border is secure."
    Following his presentation, he answered questions from the audience, including questions addressing port security.
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