Reforming U.S. Immigration Policy

 
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Our Immigration policies should be smart and based on human dignity and basic fairness.
— Bobby Bliatout
 
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WE ARE A LAND OF IMMIGRANTS.

Whether your family came to the United States on the Mayflower, through Ellis Island, north from Mexico or Latin America, across the ocean from the Pacific Rim, or like mine as refugees who fought in the U.S. effort to stop totalitarian communism–we all have one thing in common–we came for political freedom, economic opportunity, and the protection of the Bill of Rights. 

So last year, as many of us watched nervously as wild eyed supporters at Trump rallies chanted, "Build a wall," I was appalled but also resolved to support an intelligent and moral immigration policy. 

Here are some of my thoughts on reforming our current: 

THE WALL IS DIVISIVE AND A WASTE OF TAX PAYER MONEY.

Building a multi-billion dollar wall across the U.S./Mexico border is bad idea: 

  • The U.S. conducts more than half-a-trillion dollars a year of trade with Mexico. So, damaging relations with such an important trading partner is short-sighted and will cost Californians jobs. 
  • A wall can't be established in many areas and where it can be built it will cost U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars that can be better used for things like rebuilding our infrastructure or expanding health care.  
  • The truth is that most undocumented immigrants enter the U.S. by overstaying their visas and not by crossing the border.  

AN EFFECTIVE VISA POLICY. 

Our current immigration policy is fraught with hypocrisy and inconsistencies. On one hand, we have severely restricted people's ability to obtain a visa, on the other hand, we covet the labor of many undocumented immigrants. This makes no sense and only causes racial resentment and confusion. I support reshaping the U.S. visa policy to create legal categories for entry that mirror the actual reality of immigration into the U.S. Those would include visas for everything from, short term work, seasonal farmworkers, high tech workers and university professors, to special extended visas for people with family in the U.S. This program is not only more realistic but will help us create better accountability.  

SUPPORT THE DREAM ACT. 

I support both DACA protections and the Dream Act. It is both right and smart to promote a legal path to citizenship for our best and brightest young people. The fact that the Trump administration is reneging on their promise is both cruel and unintelligent. What value is their to our society to deport a college student on their way to the Ivy League? We need to keep our promises. 

SUPPORT PATH TO A LEGAL CITIZENSHIP

I support a legal path to citizenship for anyone who can prove they have been a productive resident and are not convicted felons.  People in this category should be given a visa and allowed to enter the naturalization process. This will help reconcile families and stop the hypocrisy of our current immigration policy. 

NO BAN OF ANYONE BASED ON THEIR RELIGION 

This policy is mean spirited and ineffective. I do not support policies that exclude any group of people based on religion. There is a clear reason why court after court has judged this policy unconstitutuoinal.