Diversity Is Our Strength
Beacon of Hope
America has always stood as a beacon of hope and a major force of good in the word. We refer to ourselves in our National Anthem as the land of the free and the home of the brave. The Statue of Liberty declares to the world:
Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
This country was built by the labor of immigrants, and nearly everyone here today is ultimately from somewhere else. People from all over the world want to come to the United States to build a better life for themselves and their families, and we should not blame them for their dream. There was a time when our own ancestors made this same decision, many facing the struggles and strife and challenges of their own era.
I believe in a strong border and keeping out those with ill-intent who would do us harm. But we must take care not to turn away those who will contribute to our great country, who share our values, and who will add their distinctiveness to our society. We must have laws in place to govern and protect our borders and determine how we process those who come here. But the current system is not functioning, and a crisis has emerged, creating conditions that are inhumane and contrary to our nation’s longstanding values of decency and fairness.
Simply stated, this administration’s immigration policies are cruel and unjust. As a nation, we can do better than overcrowded detention facilities with squalid conditions. We can do better than separating children from their parents and then losing track of them. We don’t need walls that divide, we need a process that unites, one that relies on fairness, compassion, and transparency.
We must be forward-looking in our reform, and account for the conditions that are driving people to our shores. And we must do more to be a stabilizing force when it comes to our own backyard.
What I will do
For too long we have put off comprehensive immigration reform. We must insist that Congress redesign the immigration system to account for the challenges of the 21st century. I will vote to protect the Dream Act and safeguard those who have spent most of their lives as peaceful members of our society. I will push for an expanded guest worker VISA program, as well as mandating that the E-Verify system be used for all employers in specific high-risk industries known for exploiting illegal workers. And I will stridently demand that we put the infrastructure, manpower, and policies in place that protects and preserves the dignity and inalienable human rights that have served as the bedrock of our nation.