America is a nation built by immigrants. We must treat all people fairly and with respect, because every soul deserves the same chance that many of our own parents were given.
As an immigration attorney, David regularly assists clients facing deportation proceedings. They’re fighting for a better life here, one of freedom and opportunity, that they just can’t find in their country of origin. That’s understandable—despite our shortcomings, America’s opportunities are unparalleled.
But our immigration system is broken. How can we lay claim to the proud heritage of a country built by immigrants when today David and attorneys like him have to defend 16-year old refugees pleading to an American judge for asylum? When all too often those requests are denied, and these children are sent to a place where they will all too likely face the worst fate? When our own government separates children from their parents, placing kids in cages?
We need to understand our shared humanity. We must recognize that our undocumented brothers and sisters who don’t have a major criminal history, residents who have faithfully paid billions in taxes, have earned the opportunity to pursue the American Dream. We’ll streamline the U.S. immigration process, acknowledging immigrants’ immense contributions and understanding they deserve America’s protections and support. That’s what humanity’s about.
Why We Need It
The American immigration system is fundamentally broken. Family-sponsored immigrants from Mexico who are finally receiving their green cards this month applied in 1997. The overall immigration quota isn’t tied to economic or population growth, so limits don’t reflect today’s conditions. With unilateral authority over much of the system, the president can implement policies like family separation, under which the U.S. government has separated and detained children in cages, a Muslim travel ban, and the end of DACA, all without Congressional approval or oversight.
With the reorganization of the immigration system following the attacks of September 11, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was born as a component of the war on terror. ICE doesn’t function humanely. It separates families. It detains children in cages. ICE doesn’t employ standard law enforcement tactics, and has transformed administrative violations into criminal action. ICE must be dismantled to protect human rights.
What We Are Fighting For
We will work to:
- Abolish ICE. We’ll protect the human rights of every immigrant by ensuring that immigration services are managed by an accountable, humane system. By dismantling ICE and redistributing its necessary functions to the appropriate agencies, we’ll create a responsible immigration process.
- Close the detention centers at the Mexican border and transition those currently being detained to housing, job training and other economic opportunity transition programs.
- Expand and expedite the asylum-seeker track to permanent residency or citizenship.
- Ensure truly universal healthcare.
- Reduce the cost and administrative roadblocks of naturalization and increase resources to help ease navigation of the process.
- Rein in Presidential authority on immigration by passing DACA as federal legislation.
- Establish a Track to U.S. Citizenship program for all undocumented people, primarily those who’ve been faithfully paying taxes and who have no major crime history.
- Increase protections for and naturalization opportunities to all undocumented immigrants who were brought here as children, regardless of their current age. We can do this while overturning the three- and ten-year re-entry bars, as families should not be separated.
- Increase the quantity of immigration judges to expedite the asylum process.
- Expand protections for LGBTQIA+ immigrants and asylum-seekers who experience discrimination domestically or in their country of origin.
- Support constituents through local casework.
What It Will Do
From family separation and inhuman detention to a clogged asylum process and decades-long lines, we will eliminate abhorrent and unwarranted practices, creating a safer, superior system. We are a nation built by immigrants and it is time that our government’s policies reflects our values. We claim to stand for human rights abroad; we must start at home. By creating a streamlined path to citizenship and fully supporting all refugees, we’ll do just that. We’ll make America the model for sustainable, ethical immigration. We’ll show the world we haven’t forgotten our roots.