The United States is a country built on the contributions of immigrants and their families seeking the American Dream. As an immigrant myself, I have had the privilege to experience this first hand and witness just how much immigrants enrich our society.
Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have strongly supported comprehensive immigration reform as the solution to fixing our Nation’s broken immigration system. Congress must come together to pass legislation that addresses the issue in a fair and compassionate way while acknowledging the causes of illegal immigration into country, such as the widespread violence in Central America, and work with our neighbors in the Western Hemisphere to find solutions.
Since the beginning of his campaign the President has used hateful rhetoric to target immigrants. As President, this has continued in numerous executive actions, including limiting visitation from specific countries, pausing the acceptance of refugees, and terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. I am extremely disappointed that the President has turned his back on the foundation of our country as a nation of immigrants and seeks to build walls between communities. Divisive language and policies will only aggravate the problems facing our immigration system while weakening our economy and national security.
I am extremely opposed to all of these actions and have cosponsored numerous pieces of legislation in an attempt to counter the President’s attempts to divide us. Among these pieces of legislation is the bipartisan H.R. 3440, the DREAM Act, introduced by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA). This extremely popular piece of legislation would enable millions of undocumented young people, who came here as children and know no other home, to enter a pathway to citizenship. This pathway would be open to law-abiding DREAMers who meet a series of qualifications and would take approximately 8-13 years. H.R. 3440 has widespread bipartisan support and I am disappointed that Speaker Ryan has ignored requests to hold a vote on it.
Congress can no longer ignore the problems in our immigration system that harm those who are seeking a better life free of poverty, war, and violence. We must come together to craft reform that will resolve the flaws in our current system to create one that will treat all people equally, humanely, and compassionately.