Our immigration system has not been substantially changed since the Hart-Cellar Act established the foundation of our current system in 1965. More than fifty years later, we need new laws to handle new realities. It’s important that we safeguard our border, certainly. As a Congresswoman, my top priority is to ensure the safety and security of my constituents and, indeed, all Americans. But we cannot forget that America is—and always has been—a nation of immigrants. Legal immigration does not jeopardize our economy, but strengthens it; the immigrants that come, year after year, to America are an enormous part of what makes our country so great.
I believe we should reform our immigration system so that we raise the number of people who are legally allowed to come here, while also financing border security measures. We need more funding for judges to hear immigration cases, so that asylum seekers are not left in limbo for years. I am absolutely opposed to the separation of families at the border on the grounds that it is a deeply immoral and anti-family practice, and I support the DREAM Act, which allows people who were brought to this country as children to obtain legal status.
Finally, as your representative, I would expand the H2A visa program to allow people who come to work for agricultural companies to stay year-round. This is particularly important for our local economy because H2A visas are currently supplied only seasonally. Our dairy farmers require laborers year-round, not just during a harvest season.