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.
We need a Reasonable Pathway to Citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the United States. Some immigrants have family members who can petition for them, but they may need to wait in line for up to twenty years. We can provide a more efficient path to citizenship 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. For other undocumented immigrants who do not have a line to join at all under the current system, we need to create new pathways to citizenship. Individuals who have lived in the United States for many years and have contributed to our economy and built up strong equities in this country should be offered legal channels to regularize their status. By encouraging undocumented immigrants to pass through legal channels, we’ll reduce the number of undocumented migrants living in the United States in the shadows and filter out 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.
We must save 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. We can do this by reviving the DREAM Act to create further incentives for law-abiding immigrants to obtain educational benefits and jobs in exchange for legal status as permanent residents.
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.