Dear Friend: Thank you for contacting me regarding comprehensive immigration reform. It is an honor to serve you as the Majority Leader of the United States Senate and a privilege to respond to your concerns. Today there are 10 to 12 million undocumented aliens living in the United States, and many Americans believe that our immigration policies are in need of serious review. As a nation of immigrants who honor the rule of law, I believe we must make it a priority to secure our borders as a part of any effort to reform our immigration policies. In order to address this issue I have introduced S. 2454, the Securing America’s Border Act, a billion-dollar down payment that focuses on border security and interior law enforcement and will enable the Senate to pursue comprehensive immigration reform. My proposal will add resources to border protection, give our immigration-enforcement officials new legal tools, invest in physical barriers and electronic surveillance equipment at the borders and make it easier for employers to ensure that they hire only citizens and legal residents. We need to make these investments because maintaining a secure border ranks among the most fundamental missions of any sovereign nation While our country needs security at our borders in order to slow the flow of illegal immigration and enhance our national security, we still need to do more. A majority of the people who enter America illegally, after all, come here to work. Among other things, the full Senate will need to address ways we can balance security interests with our economy's labor needs. In the long term, our government needs to work on policies that encourage democracy and prosperity abroad which will also address our immigration crisis by reducing the number of people who feel that coming to the United States is their only option. Let me be clear, I do not support amnesty, but I do understand the labor challenges facing our nation, and, as Majority Leader, I will continue to work with my colleagues to address this critical problem in the 109th Congress. On the basis of sound immigration policy, we can protect our borders, and continue to welcome legal immigrants, and in doing both we will improve the lives of all Americans. Sincerely, William H. Frist, M.D. Majority Leader United States Senate P.S. Please visit http://frist.senate.gov to register for my e-mail newsletter.