Amnesty for DREAMers. Pathway to Citizenship. Abolish ICE.
This nation was built by immigrants. From the first settlers in the 17th century to present day when hundreds of nations are represented in communities in all 50 states, the U.S. was founded upon the idea that anyone can come here, be given a fair chance, and lead a productive life. Unfortunately, we have seen nativism, racism, and xenophobia rear their ugly heads time and time again, from slavery to Japanese internment camps to children in cages. Too many lawmakers ignore the fact that America is a nation of immigrants built by immigrants and open to immigrants; instead, they work to stop immigration from certain nations or regions, muddy the pathway to citizenship, and sanction human rights abuses against those seeking asylum.
Despite heated discussion for years, DACA children (“DREAMers”) still have not had any major legislation passed to give them citizenship. It is absurd that children who have lived in the United States, many since they were infants, still have not been given this most basic right. More broadly, pathways to citizenship as a whole are cumbersome, difficult to navigate, expensive, and backlogged with years and years of delay. We must do better. We must fix the system so that those who wish to come to the United States and be productive members of our community can do just that.
The fact is that having lawmakers fear monger about immigration and try to tie it to crime, despite numerous studies showing that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than U.S. born citizens, stokes fear and hatred and violence, and it must stop! The reality is that the most atrocious crimes committed related to immigrants in recent years are not carried out by immigrants, but carried out on immigrants by out-of-control ICE agents drunk on their own power and a spiraling budget ($8Billion in FY2021). Since its creation less than 20 years ago, ICE has terrorized asylum seekers, separated families, and put refugees and immigrants in cages. The agency’s duties were previously (and can again be) carried out by other government agencies. It is time stop the human rights abuses and disband ICE, which is too broken and redundant to fix.
The United States needs immigrants just as much as immigrants need the United States. To make sure this is possible, I will:
- Cosponsor the New Way Forward Act
- Work with colleagues to draft a bill that will abolish ICE
- Provide full citizenship to DREAMers
- Support the Access to Counsel Act so immigrants will have legal help
- Sign onto the Reduce Financial Barriers to Immigration and Citizenship Act
- Ban detention centers at the border.