We cannot forget that we were founded as a nation of immigrants and refugees. As such, Chris Perri advocates a compassionate immigration policy that respects human dignity while ensuring the safety of all Texans.
Immigration is vital to our economic foundation, as 1,500 economists agree that immigrants improve our economy by bringing diverse labor skills into the economy to cover market shortages.
For many immigrants, waiting in line for citizenship can take up to twenty years. We need a Reasonable Pathway to Citizenship. We can do this by increasing the per-country caps on immigration, along with removing the bureaucratic red tape that creates long delays on determinations of applications for legal status. By encouraging undocumented immigrants to pass through the proper legal channels, we’ll reduce the number of undocumented people and efficiently filter out the applicants who do not meet the qualifications for legal status.
Under the current administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has instilled fear in Texas immigrant communities by raiding them in the pursuit of undocumented people, many of whom have no criminal records and work hard to provide for their families. Moreover, ICE has taken the callous step of arresting defendants, victims, and witnesses at courthouses, which undermines our criminal justice system. Undocumented immigrants are now afraid to report crimes for fear of being identified by ICE, and this chilling effect on crime reporting makes our communities less safe. In the interest of public safety and health, we must create safe zones (hospitals, courthouses, and domestic violence shelters) where people are protected from ICE enforcement.
Expand Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) so that undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children aren’t punished for their mere status.
Revive DREAM Act legislation to create further incentives for law-abiding immigrants to obtain educational benefits and jobs in exchange for legal status as permanent residents.
While we need to secure our borders, we must oppose the border wall. Construction of a wall would require taking hundreds of acres of private land at a cost of millions to taxpayers and would divert money from crucial mobile video surveillance technology.