From the time that Trump announced his candidacy, we have seen a concerted effort across the nation to demonize undocumented immigrants. This is unacceptable. What we know is that over the course of history, the United States has been a beacon of hope and opportunity for people around the world and that America is so much stronger because of her diversity.
I believe our country is going down the wrong path as it relates to the Conservative agenda on immigration. Instead of advocating to bring people into this country who are going to contribute and make this country better, we are trying to keep the best and brightest people out. It is being done through a fear-based campaign designed to unfairly demonize the millions of hardworking men and women who come here in search of a better life for themselves and their families.
I believe we need to provide a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented workers in this country. We did that under Ronald Reagan in the 1980’s by providing amnesty and a path to citizenship and we can do it again. As it stands now, if it is discovered someone has a felony or criminal record, they will not be approved. Those that pass the rigorous vetting process can then become a contributing member of society, pay taxes and help push our economy forward.
We must understand that the Deferred Action for Childhood Referrals (DACA) program created under the Obama Administration, was done so to provide protection from deportation and the ability to work for 800,000 or so Dreamers in this country. These are young children who were brought here from other countries by their parents through no fault of their own, have grown up in this country, are educated and contributing to society. The Trump administration is trying to rescind this protection and has failed to find a bipartisan solution for continuing the DACA program.
As Senator, I will take a leadership role in championing legislation to legalize DACA program permanently and will work with Republicans on the other side of the aisle to come up with fair and swift bipartisan legislation to continue the DACA program and to provide a pathway for permanent citizenship for the 800,000 Dreamers in the current program.
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