Immigration is one of the great strengths of our nation. People from all over the world have come to our country because they see opportunity in America and a chance to build a better life for themselves and their families. The hard work and talent of immigrants have helped grow our economy and strengthen our communities. We cannot afford to wait any longer to reform our immigration system. We need comprehensive reform to fix our legal immigration process, better support documented and undocumented immigrants, and improve the asylum process.
I have advocated on behalf of immigrants through supporting key legislation and other advocacy efforts during my time in Congress.
Reforming our Deeply Flawed Immigration Detention System: Together with Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), I co-lead the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act, legislation to reform the systemic problems in our immigration detention system. Our current system is inhumane, unjust, and driven by private, for-profit corporations like The GEO Group, which operates the Northwest Detention Center located in Tacoma, Washington. This bill will end the use of private facilities and repeal mandatory detention, while restoring due process, oversight, accountability, and transparency to the immigration detention system. It’s critical that we reform our immigration system to focus on alternatives to detention that have been proven to work.
Creating a Pathway to Citizenship for DACA Recipients and Other Immigrants: As an original cosponsor of the Dream and Promise Act, which would provide a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, I am committed to finally ending the uncertainty that so many DACA recipients, TPS holders, and other immigrants face in the current system. These immigrants are a part of our communities and deserve to have the opportunity to continue to live, work, and raise their families in the United States.
Supporting Refugees: I strongly support expanding the U.S. refugee admissions program, which was decimated by the Trump Administration. I’ve fought to increase funding for refugee resettlement and raise the floor for the number of refugees that come to the U.S. each year. These steps are critical to continuing to rebuild refugee resettlement here in the U.S. to meet the growing number of refugees globally.
Addressing Humanitarian Challenges at the Southern Border: There are humanitarian challenges at our southern border that need to be addressed, and the U.S. should remain a beacon of hope for individuals seeking asylum. Policies like Title 42 and the Migrant Protection Protocols (“Remain in Mexico”) do not actually promote the safety and security of the U.S. – they exacerbate the crisis at the southern border, harm women, children, and families seeking asylum, and proliferate criminal activity. It is critical that the U.S. strategy at the southern border also focuses on addressing the root causes of migration and the drivers of instability, such as conflict, corruption and poor governance, economic turmoil, and climate change.
Speeding up Immigration Processing: The current immigrant visa and naturalization system is simply insufficient. There are tens of thousands of people waiting for visas and work authorizations, lengthy delays in processing applications, and unnecessary restrictions that sometimes require individuals to leave the U.S and separate from their families. The system is not designed to succeed. We need reforms that will enhance legal immigration to make it more efficient and humane.
The immigration system in the United States is broken and needs to be reformed. Allowing for immigrants to become productive members of our society will only strengthen our communities, our economy, and our country's future.
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More on Immigration Reform
|6/25/15||Smith Pushes for End to Family Detention|
|5/15/15||Smith Statement on Family Detention|
|5/14/15||Congressman Smith Reintroduces Legislation To Address Broken Immigration Detention Policy|
|4/7/15||Smith Signs Amicus Brief to Support Expansion of DACA and DAPA|
|3/31/15||Op-Ed: Jailing immigrants is inhumane, costly and unnecessary|
|1/14/15||Smith Strongly Opposes Republican Attempts to Deport DREAMers, Obstruct Immigration Reform|
|12/11/14||Smith Opposes Provisions for Wall Street and the Wealthy in the CROmnibus|