We need policies that reflect the value all immigrants bring to our communities – not our current piecemeal, broken system that serves more to dehumanize immigrants seeking to enrich our country instead of helping them succeed.
Simply put, our immigration system is a mess. Extremist Republicans have stood in the way of real reform that would create a fair and orderly pathway to citizenship for millions. And let’s be honest: Democrats in Congress have failed to deliver needed immigration reforms, even when they controlled both chambers of Congress.
Now, a generation of immigrants live in the shadows of our economy, many with bosses who exploit their workers’ statuses to steal their wages and abuse them in the workplace. We have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients fearing their status will expire every five years. We have Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients who cannot safely return home yet still have no opportunity for citizenship. We have asylum seekers worldwide who are unsure about the rules and requirements for entry. The United States of America is still a beacon of hope to many across the globe, and it’s time we act like it.
And here’s the economic reality: California needs immigrants. Our state depends on agricultural workers to feed the nation. Small businesses from Chico to Temecula desperately need more service workers. We also need scientists to keep us ahead of the curb globally and more doctors and nurses to care for our aging population. We need a fair and orderly immigration system that treats people with dignity, not one that’s scotch-taped and hot-glued together because politicians in Washington are afraid to tackle challenging issues.