The story of America’s greatness is rooted in our immigrant history – our commitment to opening our doors to people from every corner of the world and every walk of life. Over and over again, immigrants, like my Polish and Irish relatives, came to America with their unique traditions in search of a better life for their families. They started businesses and built communities, fueling America’s growth and economic success. Today, we are a stronger and more prosperous nation because of the diversity of their traditions and their hard work. I am committed to upholding the legacy of this uniquely American story and fighting against those who seek to undermine the value and economic importance of immigrants.
There is no doubt that our immigration system needs to be fixed, which is why I support the kind of comprehensive immigration reform that passed the Senate during my first year in the chamber. The bill that I voted for in 2013 significantly tightened border security; created a tough but fair path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants already living in the United States; deployed a quick and effective employment verification system for businesses to prevent identity theft and prevent future illegal hires; and pioneered an improved process to admit foreign workers that does not harm employment opportunities for American workers.
Unfortunately, the Trump administration has preyed on the worst kind of prejudice against immigrants. President Trump rescinded the DACA program, putting the future of Dreamers at risk, and proposed building a wall and cutting legal immigration by 40%. The administration went even further with a policy that separated children from their parents at the border. I urged Congress to pass the Keeping Families Together Act and pushed for the President to put an end to this shameful and cruel practice.
President Trump has also called for the passage of a Muslim ban and is working to dismantle our refugee assistance programs. These policies play right into the hands of ISIS and do nothing to make our country safer. That is why I introduced the No Ban on Refugees Act and a bill to block implementation of President Trump’s travel ban. ISIS and terrorist organizations are already using the President’s hateful words to recruit followers, and these hateful policies must be stopped.
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