We must repair the moral vandalism of our current immigration policy with the understanding that there is no practical legal way for immigrants to come here across our southern border.
The “get in line” admonishment is a lie. There is no legal process for the vast number of people seeking to live in freedom among us.
Detention Centers need to be immediately replaced with a mechanism for absorbing reasonable numbers of arriving immigrants and refugees. The zero tolerance policy for border crossings must be lifted. Section 1325 of the immigration law must be amended.
For people who have been here for 10 years or longer there needs to be a fast track to permanent legal residence and citizenship. No one legally present in the United States should wait more than 2 to 3 years for full citizenship.
TPS, or Temporary Protective Status, must be brought back to shelter refugees from countries like Haiti, and Guatemala.
The resources of ICE should be directed toward screening cargo and monitoring activity in our ports of entry rather than hunting and detaining people in immigrant communities.
The federal government should act immediately to address the conditions in Central America that are driving refugees north. The 117th Congress should pass a $1.5 Billion aid package as a first installment on stabilizing the flow of refugees in our hemisphere.
The irrational fixation on a physical wall along the southern border should be replaced with a practical mix of physical barriers, electronic surveillance, and other 21st Century security measures. The US military should not be authorized to operate within US borders without the expressed consent of Congress.
My record as a Westchester County Legislator indicates I can get things done on the subject of immigration. Since 2017, when I became Democratic Leader at the Board of Legislators we have passed:
- An Immigrant Protection Law
- Paid Sick Leave
- Wage Theft Law
- Displaced Workers Law
I helped engineer additional county funding for vital services for the immigrant community:
- Hudson Valley Legal Services
- Open Door Medical Centers
- Day Care Centers
The Board of Legislators accomplished all of the above in two years, after our first attempt at an Immigrant Protection law was vetoed by the previous Republican County Executive. I will bring the same urgency to Congress.