Securing our border is critical to the sovereignty of our nation. Yet, there are more than 10 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. today. That’s unacceptable.
We know that the vast majority of these individuals are good people and mean no harm to the United States. In fact, the majority didn’t even cross the border illegally. For many different reasons, they came here legally — and just stayed. How do we solve the problem with compassion, while adhering to our laws. To me it’s simple.
- Provide adequate funds to secure our borders and points of entry.
- Allow eligible “DACA” immigrants to gain legal status and apply for citizenship through the same process available to all legal immigrants and permanent residents. They are the most vetted population in America. We know who they are, and how they came to be here.
- Change our Immigration Laws to speed up legal immigration, while insuring our safety. Merit based immigration is important. It’s simply not fair to ask Americans to pay the bills for immigrants coming to America, other than those true refugees for whom we have a long tradition of providing temporary assistance.
- All remaining undocumented immigrants should have 1 year to come out of the shadows and follow a process similar to that of Dreamers. They must follow the same path. After 10 years of legal status and maintaining a clean record, they would be eligible to apply for Citizenship under the normal process. For those who willingly come forward and prove themselves, there is no reason to permanently foreclose the opportunity to become citizens. When they have paid their dues as legal participants in our economy and society, the American Dream and its promise should be available. Immigrants are vital to America, and their contributions should be recognized — including the opportunity to vote, pay taxes and otherwise enjoy the privileges of citizenship.
- Reasonable fees for applying for legal status should be established. Punitive “fines” will only serve to discourage undocumented immigrants from coming out of the shadows and achieving legal status.