I strongly believe that our immigration system is broken and that comprehensive immigration reform that is tough, fair and practical is long overdue.
Also, I believe we have a right to decide who lives in our country and who doesn't, and that we must make sure that our borders are secure. However, I believe our long-term illegal aliens must pass background checks, be English speakers and law-abiding taxpayers, to earn the chance to become American citizens. Additionally, I support legislation promoting family reunification; asylum and refugee admissions; educational opportunities from Pre-K through college (like Head Start and the DREAM Act); and employment-based immigration (like Ag-JOBS). I also support programs like the Silver Star Gang Prevention and Intervention Programs and the Merida Project that help immigrants and their families improve their lives.
With a range of opinions in the Democratic Party and the unlikelihood of support from Congressional Republicans for a comprehensive immigration bill, I recognize that the first legislative action on immigration reform must start in the Senate. President Obama has met twice with the Hispanic Caucus to discuss a range of immigration issues but no path forward has emerged.