From our nation’s founding, to today, immigrants have played a crucial role in the growth and success of our nation. Whether first generation immigrants or tenth generation, American families celebrate the stories of those who came to this country looking for a better life. It is time that our immigration system reflect the value immigrants have always had to our nation. An effective immigration system does not create cruelty, but prevents it.
Our immigration system must provide a path to citizenship for people who have been in this country, as law-abiding contributors to our economy for years. We need to expand worker visas and legal means of immigration to address the shortage of skilled labor businesses are experiencing in California. Illegal immigration is at a 30 year low. Rather than spend billions of dollars on an ineffective border wall, we need to be investing that money in our schools, in our healthcare system, and infrastructure.
Not everyone who tries to enter the country should be allowed to stay, but every person deserves to be treated with dignity, deserves the chance to present their case, and deserves the due process of our laws. People detained along the border and people living in our communities without legal immigration documents, live in fear of being torn from their families. I want to help shape immigration policy that represents the best of our American values – and lives into the call on the statue of liberty. Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.