America has always been a nation of immigrants. People from other nations—who arrived here both with and without documentation—have enriched our society and made tremendous contributions to our economy. This is true now more than ever. As we seek to overcome the lasting effects of the Great Recession, immigrants are engines of job-creation and a vital source of economic strength.
Since my time in the Florida Legislature, I have been a proud voice for fairness in immigration. Our current system is broken. With backlogs lasting years, millions of people are kept from reuniting with their family members or contributing to our economy. In the immigration process, many more are deprived of the basic legal rights that our Constitution enshrines.
It’s time to bring America’s hardworking immigrants out of the shadows. President Obama acted showed true leadership by implementing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)policy, protection a million young immigrants from deportation. The next step should be passage of the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which I cosponsored in Congress to provide safety to countless new Americans and add upwards of $329 billion to the US economy. This year, I’m calling on Congress to do what America has demanded and pass a comprehensive immigration reform plan that creates a path for undocumented Americans to obtain citizenship.
I am fighting for an immigration system that respects families, protects human rights, and strengthens our economy.