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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 5/29/19

Immigration~~~In Our Own Image [Beto O'Rourke's Brilliant and Comprehensive Plan for Reform]

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Beto O'Rourke proposes sweeping immigration reform Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke unveiled a wide-ranging immigration plan Wednesday designed to create a pathway to citizenship for 11 ...
Beto O'Rourke proposes sweeping immigration reform Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke unveiled a wide-ranging immigration plan Wednesday designed to create a pathway to citizenship for 11 ...
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Reforming Our Immigration and Naturalization System and Making the System Work Better for Our Families, Our Communities, and Our Economy

Above all else, immigration is about people not just those who have recently arrived or those yet to come, but the kind of people we choose to be. Since the Founding, the compact we made as a nation was to welcome the oppressed, the persecuted, and the hopeful from all over the world because we recognize that immigrants enrich every aspect of our society with their determination and genius. Each successive generation of Americans has included immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, strengthening this nation that we share.

The current administration has chosen to defy this American aspiration, drafted into our Declaration of Independence, welded into the welcome of our Statue of Liberty, and secured by the sacrifices of countless generations. Instead, the current administration is pursuing cruel and cynical policies that aim to sow needless chaos and confusion at our borders. It is manufacturing crises in our communities, and is seeking to turn us against each other. When this is done in our name, with our tax dollars, and to our neighbors, we not only undermine our laws, hold back our economy, and damage our security we risk losing ourselves.

But at this moment of peril, we have a chance not only to reverse course but to advance a new vision of immigration that more fully reflects our values. As a fourth-generation El Pasoan, Beto uniquely recognizes the urgency of fixing our broken immigration and naturalization system. Rooted in his experience serving the largest binational community in the Western Hemisphere one that draws its strength and prosperity from its rich heritage of welcoming immigrants Beto is proposing a new path forward to ensure we honor our laws, live up to our values, and once again harness the power of a new generation of immigration toward our shared prosperity.

Beto's plan, which would represent the most sweeping rewrite of our nation's immigration and naturalization laws in a generation, is built on three key pillars:

On day one of his presidency, Beto would use executive authority to stop the inhumane treatment of children, reunite families that have been separated, reform our asylum system, rescind the travel bans, and remove the fear of deportation for Dreamers and beneficiaries of programs like TPS.

Beto will also immediately engage with Congress to enact legislation focused on the key role families and communities play that will allow America to fully harness the power of economic growth and opportunity that both immigration and naturalization will bring to our country's future.

Finally, Beto's plan would strengthen our partnership with our neighbors in the Western Hemisphere. We need to refocus on supporting democracy and human rights and invest in reducing violence because the only path to regional security runs through a more democratic and prosperous Latin America.

The current administration's cruel and cynical policies are sowing needless chaos and confusion at our borders and in our communities. On day one of his presidency, Beto would take immediate executive action to end these practices and replace them with policies that conform to our laws and values, restore order and process to our asylum and immigration systems, and refocus our tax dollars on smart security.

Those executive actions will:

Reform the asylum system and reunite families. The current asylum system is ineffective, inefficient, illegal, and immoral. Those traveling vast distances to escape extreme violence and crushing poverty are being met by a militarized cruelty and manufactured chaos that separates families, detains children, and deliberately extends the backlog of those who require processing. We must change both the culture and processes for handling asylum claims.

An O'Rourke administration will ensure lawful and humane conditions at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities, including access to medical treatment, mental health care, social workers, and translators, and restore orderly and prompt processing of people seeking refuge under our nation's asylum laws.

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