From September 15th to October 15th we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, the anniversary of independence in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
Since its conception under President Lyndon Johnson, the month has served as a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the histories and cultures of Hispanic Americans and the invaluable contribution they have made to this country. Special events, including lectures, art exhibits, and concerts, take place throughout the country this month to display some of the most notable examples of the rich cultural legacy provided by those who either emigrated themselves or have ancestors who emigrated from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
I plan to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month honoring our Hispanic immigrants- and all immigrants for that matter- by pushing to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Our current system is inexcusable, as it tears families apart, exploits immigrants, undercuts American workers, and gives unfair advantages to unscrupulous employers over those who are honest. We must modernize this failing system; we must work towards an immigration policy that protects workers' rights, creates a tough but fair path to citizenship, strengthens border security, and streamlines our legal immigration system.
This year I've met with countless individuals and advocates in Contra Costa county who agree that comprehensive immigration reform can benefit our economy, our families, our communities, and our workers. It's time Speaker Boehner and House Republicans promote the national interest by joining House Democrats in working towards a bipartisan comprehensive immigration bill, instead of continuing to ignore the issue.