Special to Opelika Observer 

As most folks across East Alabama know, the United States has a serious illegal immigration problem.

As if that weren’t enough, on top of our ongoing problems with illegal immigration, some of our legal immigration practices present a threat to our national security as well.

                I agree with President Trump that chain migration and the visa lottery system are the top problems that must be fixed.  In a number of our most recent terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, terrorists have easily entered our country through one of these programs.

                Chain migration is an easy way for a U.S. citizen or green card holder to get family members from another country into ours. Individuals are granted entry to the United States based on familial relations and the number of instances this method is being used is through the roof. The failed suicide bomber that attempted to blow himself up in the New York City subway in December entered the country through chain migration.

The visa lottery, a random drawing for a visa, makes no sense either. The terrorist behind the Halloween attack, also in New York, entered our country through the visa lottery.

It is crystal clear terrorists are using our lax immigration laws to enter the U.S.  President Trump is exactly right that we need to change the current immigration system to one that is a merit-based system.

                A recent report from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) found that three out of four individuals who have been convicted of international terrorism-related charges from September 11th through 2016 were foreign-born and entered our country through our immigration system.

                Finally, I would add that the fiancée visa program is yet another area that could be exploited by our enemies and should be examined. One of the terrorists behind the mass shooting in San Bernadino, California, entered our country through this program.

                I will continue to support and work with President Trump on these issues.  Our nation’s borders must be secure and I will continue to push for a wall on the Southwest border with Mexico as well.

                Defending our homeland is a national priority and it begins with sealing the borders and preventing terrorists and criminals from entering our country.

                As always, I want to hear from you on this or any issue.

Please sign up for my e-Newsletter by visiting www.mikerogers.house.gov. To stay up to date, you can also like me on Facebook at Congressman Mike D. Rogers,

follow me on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram at RepMikeRogersAL, on Tumblr at www.repmikerogersal.tumblr.com and you can also subscribe to my YouTube page at MikeRogersAL03.