We need an immigration policy that’s tough, fair, and practical. It needs to be tough on border security to prevent people from trying to smuggle guns, drugs, or people. We can make our border more secure with technology. We don’t need to build a wall that will waste billions in taxpayer dollars. We need an immigration policy that is both fair to taxpayers and to immigrants who come to America seeking a better life. And it needs to be comprehensive to provide for our workforce needs, to protect asylum seekers fleeing for their safety, to keep families together, and to keep Dreamers in the only home they’ve ever known. In 2013, the Senate passed a package of comprehensive reforms that, while not perfect, went a long way towards making progress on all of these fronts. We need comprehensive immigration reform, but obstruction from current Republican leadership has prevented us from making real progress on this issue.
We must also continue to improve border security and streamline the border crossings that facilitate billions of dollars in cross-border commerce. I worked with other members of San Diego’s Congressional delegation — both Democrats and Republicans — to secure $741 million in funding for the border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana that regional business leaders called San Diego’s top priority for job creation. And during this session of Congress, we unveiled the PedEast facility at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, which will increase inspection capacity for the tens of thousands of pedestrians who travel across the U.S-Mexico border each day. The entire delegation of San Diego-area members of Congress worked on a bipartisan basis to secure funding for the facility, which will strengthen border security and create thousands of jobs by improving the flow of trade and commerce.
Fundamentally, our border with Mexico is an opportunity, not a threat. As we continue to work towards an immigration policy that makes us both safer and more prosperous, we must not give in to the fearmongering and anti-immigrant rhetoric coming out of the Trump administration and Republican members of Congress. I’m leading the fight to stand up against President Trump’s wasteful border walland to protect our Dreamers. And after President Trump implemented his travel ban, I led 70 of my colleagues in demanding a full accounting of the ill-conceived policy’s development. Furthermore, I’ve vigorously condemned the administration’s racist and immoral family separation policy. Ripping away children from the arms of their mothers, who came to America seeking refuge from violence and oppression, is about as un-American as it gets.
Immigration affects our entire region, but we’ve seen that the current leadership in the Congress is so beholden to far-right forces that these leaders are unwilling even to let us vote on the issue. The last thing we need is to strengthen their hand by giving them more votes for still worse obstruction. We need to get real and provide the American people with real solutions.