As the son of immigrants, immigration is a topic close to my heart. Immigration is a complex issue and it is time for a comprehensive approach to reform. Our current immigration system is broken, and it must be fixed. For too long, extremes on either side of the aisle have discouraged real and meaningful discussion regarding immigration. I believe it is time to act on this pressing issue. It is the responsibility of those in Congress to implement fair and balanced legal immigration policies while continuing to combat illegal immigration.
It is important to create a fair process to give immigrants the opportunity to obtain earned citizenship, thus avoiding the creation of a second-class society. Comprehensive immigration reform begins with ensuring a realistic and responsible path to earned legal status for those who are already here. This will allow millions of immigrants to come out of the shadows, get involved in their children’s education, find employment, and raise their families without the constant fear of deportation.
When reforming immigration policy, we must take into account those individuals who were brought to the United States as children. These young people, known as Dreamers, make significant contributions to our communities each and every day and have lived with the uncertainty about their future for far too long. Congress must provide a legislative solution so these individuals may continue to live in America - the only home they know. That is why, I cosponsored H.R. 3440, the Dream Act of 2017, and H.R. 1468, the Recognizing America’s Children (RAC) Act, which provides a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.
Another important aspect of immigration is developing a proposal that includes meaningful reform for the agriculture industry and agricultural workers alike. As you know, many industries in the Central Valley rely heavily on immigrant labor. Developing a guest worker program that will enable access to a reliable agricultural workforce is crucial to the stability of our local economy.
Reforming our nation’s immigration system is a massive undertaking, one that should be examined carefully on every level. Comprehensive immigration reform will remain my top priority until a solution is reached.