America is a nation of immigrants. Our strength and international competitiveness has continually been augmented by the skills and talents of people coming to this nation from around the world. But for far too long, our immigration system has been broken, and for more than a decade, Congress has been unable to work in a bipartisan manner to find a way forward that reflects our American values and tradition.
I support comprehensive immigration reform. I value the hard work and talent that so many immigrants bring to our nation, helping to build some of our growing cities across the nation, helping to strengthen our agriculture industry in some of the most arduous labor conditions, and helping to out-innovate our foreign competitors in the fields of science, medicine and technology. I also believe that we must have a strong and secure border.
In order to move our nation forward on this issue, we must require the millions of undocumented persons in the United States to admit to a violation of immigration laws and pay an appropriate penalty. Only in the event of full acceptance of responsibility and payment of appropriate fines should we allow individuals to seek lawful adjustment of their immigration status. This is a path that seeks strict adherence to our laws, increases border security, and also seeks to strengthen our work force and international competitiveness. Our immigration system should be one that is realistic and humane, economically viable, protects American jobs, and allows the best and brightest from across the world to come here and pursue the American dream.
I support the DREAM Act so that students brought to the United States by their parents are not penalized, but instead given a meaningful opportunity to educate themselves and/or serve in our nation’s military, thereby becoming productive members of this country.