Situation:  It has been over 30 years since our country last addressed immigration reform.  This is one of the most emotionally charged and challenging issues of our time.  There are millions of people who have come to the United States to secure a better future for their families.  We’re also a nation of laws that must be honored and respected.    It would be a disservice to all Americans to rush legislation that is not thoughtfully vetted and explored to fully understand the impact upon our country.

Impact to CA15: CA15 is a culturally diverse district, and that diversity makes us more vibrant and enriches our quality of life.  The only way to serve our district properly is address this through a compassionate and methodical assessment.

Eric’s Position:   It is difficult to say where Eric stands on this issue as his responses to questions offer no real insights to how he’d solve the issue.  I do believe he supports a pathway to citizenship, but I’ve yet to hear him put forth any real details how he’d both protect our boarder and craft a pathway to citizenship for those already here.

My Position:  I believe the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) offers a possible model for moving forward to fixing our immigration system.   The process of halting deportations for individuals who are here will allow us to capture vital facts that will be important for crafting comprehensive reform.  This step will allow people to step forward in good faith to indicate their interest in becoming American citizens.  So much of what we have to go off of right now are estimates.    There are currently an estimated 11.3 Million people who have come to our country unauthorized.   We need to understand if this estimate is accurate and the general status (working, not working, home ownership, education level achieved etc) of this group.   We need to provide assurance to those who are here to work hard, create a better way of life, and fully “melt in” embracing America that we welcome you.

Additionally, we need to invest in protecting all of our borders.  In the modern era of terrorism the fact that over a hundred thousand people can enter our country undetected is being negligent to our Constitutional duty to protect American citizens.

We need to overhaul our HB1 visa program so that  American workers and students are not disadvantaged.  Secondly, the program should be simplified and streamlined so that those here can access the pathway to citizenship more easily.

Finally, we must not overlook the reality that the lure of a better life in America entraps thousands of women and young girls into a life of exploitation.  Securing our border and providing an effective immigration system will reduce the number of human trafficking victims.