Immigration

 

Immigration is a serious issue that when researched is yet another excellent example of campaign finance run riot.  While Democrats and Republicans fight each other, leadership of both parties have turned a willing and well-compensated eye the other way for decades while they ignore the real issues and solutions. Why is that?  

Undocumented immigrants are sought as cheap labor by many industries. It is important to note that just in 2019, the agriculture industry spent nearly $140M lobbying Congress, and nearly 60% of this industry’s 1,149 lobbyists (remember, there are 535 Members of Congress) are former government employees. Elected officials claim to care about this issue, yet they do nothing because they depend on just this kind of financial support to stay in office (power). As always, follow the money.

 

There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in our country.  Approximately five hundred thousand call NJ home, and of those, nearly sixteen thousand are a part of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), more commonly known as dreamers.  It is unrealistic, financially absurd, and inhumane to think we can remove from our country over 11 million people who pay taxes and hold essential jobs. We are a nation of immigrants; our earliest settlers came here “illegally”. They are no different in their reasons for migrating than any current “legal” resident’s ancestors (unless they are the descendants of slaves); they want a better life for themselves and their families.    

 

I support a fast-tracked pathway to citizenship. Candidly speaking, the sooner we get everyone on the books the better.

This will help to weed out those who are violent criminals that should be deported, while helping protect those who genuinely want better lives. We must protect workers from abuse and exploitation by industries who employ them by making it safe for them to come forward and apply for citizenship. I also support strong border security, but a one-size-fits-all “wall” is not the answer. In many places, technology or personnel could provide more effective and cost-efficient border security. In addition, I welcome and support an open and transparent immigration process for those wishing to enter our country, including asylum. It is often the consequence of America’s foreign involvement in their home countries that cause so many to flee to begin with, but that is another issue in itself.   

Regardless of your opinion on immigration, until we get the undue influence of lobbyists out of the pockets and pens of our policymakers, there will be no significant change either way. Instead of fighting each other, I want to focus on the real culprit, money in Congress, so we can finally have some clear and effective legislation that reflects the will of the American people, not special interests.