Our immigration system is in crisis. The laws we currently have on the books are inadequate and no longer serve our best interests. As a nation, we place a premium on compassion, respect, and policies that help families, but our immigration laws don't reflect that.
Hillary has consistently called for comprehensive immigration reform that respects our immigrant heritage and honors the rule of law. She believes comprehensive reform must have as essential ingredients a strengthening of our borders, greater cross-cooperation with our neighbors, strict but fair enforcement of our laws, federal assistance to our state and local governments, strict penalties for those who exploit undocumented workers, and a path to earned legal status for those who are here, working hard, paying taxes, respecting the law, and willing to meet a high bar.
Hillary strongly believes we need to do more to know who is in our country by securing our borders and ensuring that employers comply with the law against hiring and exploiting undocumented workers. She supports deploying new technology that can help stop the flow of undocumented immigrants into the country and an employer verification system that is universal, accurate, timely, and does not lead to discrimination and abuse by employers.
Along with these changes, Hillary believes we need to repair those broken portions of our immigration system that irrevocably damage families and force citizens and lawful immigrants to choose between their newly adopted country and living with their spouse or children. We have a national interest in fostering strong families. This is why she introduced an amendment during consideration of the immigration reform bill that would have taken steps to protect the sanctity of families. Our American values demand no less.
And Hillary understands that our immigration policies have a direct impact on American workers. She opposes a guest worker program that exploits workers and creates a supply of cheap labor that undermines the wages of U.S. workers. Hillary believes all workers deserve safe conditions and decent wages. She supports an Ag Jobs program, which will keep our agricultural industry vibrant while enabling agricultural workers to receive the fair wages and labor protections they ought to receive.
When Hillary is president, comprehensive immigration reform will be a top priority.
Ready to Lead
Hillary has advocated for policies to help smooth the transition of legal immigrants once they arrive in the U.S. so that they can add to our economy and culture.
* She championed the Legal Immigrant Children's Health Improvement Act, which would give states the option to provide federally funded Medicaid and SCHIP benefits to low-income legal immigrant children and pregnant women.
* She wrote the Access to Employment and English Acquisition Act to meet the growing demand for English language courses and other job skills.
* She strongly supports the DREAM Act, which provides a path to citizenship through military service or higher education for children who were brought to the U.S. by their parents.
* She offered an amendment to make family reunification the guiding principle of our immigration system.