We are a nation of immigrants. Most of us came here from somewhere else. Historically we have celebrated our nation’s diversity, but today, many want to close the door and turn away those who seek the same opportunities that we’ve been afforded.
Donald Trump’s fear-mongering and racist rhetoric about immigrants is shameful and un-American. We do need sensible laws to regulate immigration, but Trump’s proposed border wall is offensive and impractical. And deporting all 11 million undocumented immigrants living, raising families, and contributing to the economy of America is absolutely not an option. President Eisenhower tried mass deportations in the 1950s, and it was a disaster, with human rights abuses, legal due process violations, and a black eye on America’s global reputation.
Congress must ensure that families are reunited, and prevent our immigration system from ever again being used to inflict such pointless trauma on children. I do not support abolishing ICE. The problem is not the agency, but the inhumane policies foisted upon it by the Trump administration.
We must restore the pathway to legal status for Dreamers, the hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were brought to America as children by their parents. Nine out of 10 Americans support reinstating Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). It is unconscionable that Trump dismantled it, and that Congress has not yet acted to restore it.
Ultimately, Congress must enact comprehensive immigration reform that includes not just sensible immigration controls, but also a pathway to legal status for the millions of undocumented residents who have been tax-paying, law-abiding, productively engaged members of American society. It was a difficult multi-year process the last time Congress enacted comprehensive immigration reform, in 1986 – I know, because I was working for the chair of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee, Senator Alan Simpson – and everybody had to give a little, but the result was solid bipartisan consensus. I know we can do it again, if we act in good faith, based on real facts, and the best interest of the nation.