Immigration reform will not be easy, but it is essential that our country recognize the important role all immigrants play in our economic prosperity. Treating undocumented workers as political pawns is an affront to our national story and an assault on our economy.
Kirsten is committed to working with President Barack Obama to fix America's broken immigration system-creating a real path to earned citizenship with strict accountability and providing fair labor rights to all workers. While upholding America's security and the rule of law, Kirsten is working to reform our immigration system to unite families and provide laborers needed by our farms and businesses. She has introduced legislation with New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez to end the backlog for family visas and unify thousands of families in New York.
In just a few short months, Kirsten has spent time working with immigrant groups, businesses, local leaders and her colleagues in Congress to create real education and economic opportunities for New York's immigrant communities.
Current law is unfairly punishing thousands of young people who have spent most of their lives in America. Kirsten has taken the lead to change this by co-sponsoring the DREAM Act to provide every child the opportunity to get a good education and earn their way to legal status. By repealing outdated regulations that effectively deny in-state tuition and other higher education benefits to immigrant students, this legislation would make college more affordable for new Americans.
To provide economic opportunity, Kirsten is working on comprehensive legislation to provide tax credits to businesses if they offer English as a second language (ESL) programs to their employees, incentivize ESL programs by providing teachers with tax credits and authorize more funding for these programs. English is a unifying language and can provide important economic opportunity for workers and entrepreneurs. Many workers want to improve their language skills, but, unfortunately, businesses simply cannot afford to grant them time and resources to gain these desired skills.
Until we can find consensus on a strategy for reform, Kirsten believes we must treat all immigrants as human beings and respect their civil rights, which is why she is urging Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to bring an immediate end to illegal, warrantless home raids.