Justice for Immigrants
All working people, documented or undocumented, are hurt when we are unable to come together and organize for our common interests. We refuse to be divided any longer. Our struggle is one struggle.
Too often, our immigrant neighbors are scapegoats for right-wing politicians to blame for the economic struggles faced by our working class. The racist lies told by politicians like Roger Williams stoke the fire of violence against our immigrant community, leading to the mass shooting in El Paso, to separating and caging children, to deporting families back to certain death.
Decriminalize Border Crossings
Our immigration system is not meant to create a just pathway to citizenship for immigrants — in its current form, our immigration system delays, detains, and dehumanizes our immigrant siblings as they seek a brighter future for themselves and their families. We have created a system that is purposefully impossible to navigate. Unauthorized immigration is the inevitable consequence, and we cannot stand by as people fleeing poverty, violence, and climate change are criminalized for choosing the only option our country gave them. That’s why I support the full repeal of federal statutes that criminalize illegal entry and reentry — sections 1325 and 1326 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (Title 8 of the US Code). These are the laws being relied upon by the Trump administration as legal justification for detaining and incarcerating immigrants, including families seeking asylum and presenting at the border without asylum claims.
We must fight for immigrants living in the US to be able to lead dignified lives, and that means fighting back against policies and institutions that terrorize them. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is a federal law enforcement agency with a shocking record of civil rights violations and abuses and with little to no transparency or accountability. They separate families every day by raiding workplaces, homes, and even public spaces that should be safe for everyone, often using deceptive, reactionary, and shameful tactics. We believe it is time to abolish ICE, and we will fight to completely defund this agency.
Until ICE is abolished, tens of thousands of immigrants are still locked in cages, often for merely crossing the border or as a result of minor traffic infractions. The constant fear of deportation is a terrible weight on immigrants, scarring innocent people with trauma and forcing millions to live in daily fear for themselves and their families. We seek to build a firewall between local law enforcement and federal immigration enforcement so immigrants can fully and freely participate in their communities, in their workplaces, and in our shared society.
We must close all for-profit detention centers including the T. Don Hutto Detention Center. We must end collaboration between ICE and local police departments through 287(g) contracts, and we can begin by demanding more transparency around these contracts. We will end all current Intergovernmental Service Agreements (IGSAs) between ICE and local municipalities in District 25 so that local jails are not compelled to house ICE detainees or provide office space to ICE in their jails. We will end the Secure Communities Program because this program violates individual privacy rights. I also pledge to fight to abolish immigration detainers by repealing Title 8, Section 287.7 of the US Code. We propose to replace ICE detention with community-based alternatives such as community-based family case management programs or nonprofit shelters.
Justice and Compassion in Migration
Our current immigration system is rife with punishments and disincentives that make it harder for people to enter legally or to pursue legal status. We want to broaden the legal migration options for immigrants who are not asylum seekers, such as immigrants seeking reunification with their families, parents of DACA recipients, or individuals migrating for other reasons. Dreamers with and without DACA along with their parents and TPS beneficiaries all deserve immediate access to green cards and a path to citizenship.
I support ending Trump’s “metering” policy which arbitrarily limits the number of asylum seekers who may present their claims to a few per day, when we have the resources to process many many more. I support ending the 3-year-ban and the 10-year-ban, which require undocumented Americans to needlessly leave the country for years before being eligible for citizenship. I will fight for a more robust and better-funded immigration court system, ensuring all immigrants including children have the right to legal counsel and representation in immigration court, and retaining more immigration judges to clear case backlog.
Finally, I will fight to ensure that climate change refugees, people fleeing domestic violence, and people fleeing gang violence may all seek asylum at our borders by increasing the scope of asylum claims to include these groups.
Migration Is a Human Right
There are two types of immigration policies. The first viciously inflicts suffering onto people to dissuade them from coming or to pressure them to leave. We have tried this tactic for far too long and we know it is both unimaginably evil and has proven not to be effective in stopping immigration. We propose a second approach.
We must stop terrorizing valuable members of our community, and we must recognize the role our country has played in spurring immigration, by engaging in endless war, by wreaking havoc on the environment, by destabilizing economies abroad with exploitative trade deals. We also recognize that we cannot solve immigration problems without immigrants — we need their perspective, their experience, their voices, and their collaboration to get at the heart of this issue. We respect the basic dignity of immigrants as our partners in solving global problems, as our neighbors and community members, and we respect migration as a human right.
In order to strengthen this partnership with our immigrant neighbors, I will fight to pass stronger protections for immigrant workers against workplace retaliation of any kind as they organize their workplaces. Our ultimate goal is to push harder than any Congress in history for comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship so immigrants can integrate into our community without holding back. I will also do everything in my power to block interventionism, to respect the sovereignty of other nations, and to fight for trade deals that create equitable outcomes for all partners.
Migrant Justice Platform
I enthusiastically endorse the Migrant Justice Platform, a set of bold and brilliant proposals crafted by a diverse cross section of immigrant and grassroots leaders both within and without the United States. This platform calls for specific policy to secure the safety of migrants living in the US, for a more inclusive approach to labor that centers immigration, for the demilitarization of the border and border agencies, and for a foreign policy that recognizes the impact of US activity abroad and immigration across our borders. A radical departure from the “comprehensive immigration reform” approach that has repeatedly failed in this country, the Migrant Justice Platform proposes to bring more affected communities to the table as we craft policy and seek a more just immigration system.