Almost all of our families have been immigrants at one point, coming to this country in search of a better life for our families. Immigrants today are no different — with many escaping violence or persecution. And they’re in our communities supporting jobs, starting businesses, paying taxes, going to school, and serving our country in the military. In fact, over 100 of America’s 350 Nobel Prize winners were born outside of the U.S.
We must also ensure our borders are protected — and that can be done with a combination of high-tech solutions as well as sufficient support for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. We can pursue these efforts simultaneously and create a path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented people who are already living here and contributing to our economy.
SOLVE THE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS AT THE BORDER
As Governor, Steve has a successful record of bringing people together to solve tough challenges. He’ll do the same with our broken immigration system:
- Ensure families remain together until their claims have been adjudicated so that we no longer separate families and throw kids in cages.
- Instead of mass detention, Steve’s administration will lead with a humane interpretation of Section 1325 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
- Increase the number of immigration judges hearing cases. Currently, just 400 judges are hearing nearly 850,000 immigration cases, leading to a backlog of cases out to 2023. We can also quickly and fairly adjudicate asylum claims by placing kids from outside of Mexico or Canada directly into administrative proceedings.
- Restore the Obama-era pilot program ended by Trump that allows refugee applicants to apply for asylum in their home countries and, for those in immediate danger, for initial asylum in Costa Rica.
- Restore aid to organizations working to shelter at-risk people living in Northern Triangle countries – El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. President Trump announced an end of foreign aid to these countries, which will only further exacerbate the current immigration crisis at the Southern border. Steve will also consider ways to aid Venezuelans who have been displaced — including supporting Temporary Protected Status for those in the U.S. — without supporting Maduro’s brutal regime.
- Address access to seasonal foreign workers in a more efficient manner that doesn’t take jobs away from American workers or depress wages, but allows employers to hire seasonal staff efficiently.
Resolve the Legal Status of Currently Undocumented Residents
Steve believes we have left too many immigrants in legal limbo. He will:
- Provide legal status to DREAMers. It’s simply unfair and immoral to prevent these kids—who are as much a part of the fabric of American society as anyone else—from becoming legal residents with an option to become naturalized citizens. For almost all of them, America is their only real home.
- Work to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform allowing undocumented immigrants the chance to get right with the law by paying a fine, going to the back of the legal immigration line, and learning English. If they do these things, they should receive legal permanent resident status so that they may ultimately earn their citizenship.
SECURE THE BORDER WITH 21ST CENTURY SOLUTIONS
President Trump’s border wall is an 18th century solution to a 21st century problem. Steve believes that with advancements in technology and effective personnel, there are smart, cost-effective ways to maintain security at our border.
- Use the right mix of people and technology to support the U.S. Customs and Border Protection mission at our border.
- Crack-down on employers who willfully hire undocumented workers.
- Re-focus the mission of ICE so that the agency focuses on deporting serious criminals, not kids.