On the Issues

Immigration

We need immigration policies that are tough, fair, and practical. We have to be tough on border security to prevent people from trying to smuggle guns, drugs, or people, and we can make our border more secure with better technology. 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 Republican lawmakers has prevented us from making real progress on this issue.

Providing a Pathway to Citizenship

I will always support a pathway to citizenship for DREAMers and other undocumented immigrants. In 2021, I voted to pass the American Dream and Promise Act to provide legal protections for millions of DACA and TPS recipients who live, work, go to school and serve here. I also helped pass the Farm Workforce Modernization Act to provide a citizenship path to essential farmworkers and reform our farm labor sector to strengthen the future of agriculture.

Protecting Migrants Rights and Safety

In response to the mass influx of migrants seeking refuge during the summer of 2019, Scott played a crucial role in passing emergency supplemental funds in the 116th Congress. These funds were allocated to enhance medical care for migrants, improve conditions at temporary border facilities, and ensure unaccompanied children receive proper care upon arrival. Additionally, $30 million was designated to reimburse local communities that provided support to migrants, with San Diego County and Jewish Family Services receiving $2.4 million for their efforts. This funding was essential in addressing the urgent humanitarian needs at the border and alleviating the strain on temporary facilities not designed for long-term use or families.

Scott also introduced the Ensuring Conditions are Humane by Oversight (ECHO) Act to address the Trump administration’s treatment of migrant children and to ensure transparency at detention facilities, including those on military bases. This legislation aimed to maintain oversight through unannounced inspections to verify the safe housing and treatment of detained children. The bill’s language was included in the House version of the FY20 NDAA and passed.

In the 117th Congress, Scott co-led the Afghan Adjustment Act (AAA), which aids in resettling Afghans and their families who supported U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan. This bill reflects the commitment to honoring the service and sacrifices of these partners, a sentiment deeply understood by San Diego’s veteran community.

By focusing on comprehensive and compassionate solutions, we can create an immigration system that upholds American values, supports economic growth, and ensures the safety and dignity of all individuals seeking a better life in our country.

Improving Cross Border Travel

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‚Äôs 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 in 2018, 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. Read more of my thoughts on how we can further improve cross border travel, in this piece by the San Diego Union Tribune.

Standing up to Hateful Rhetoric and Policies

As we continue to work towards an immigration policy that makes us safer and more prosperous, we must not give in to the fearmongering and anti-immigrant rhetoric that came out of the Trump administration and continues to come from Republican members of Congress. I lead the fight to stand up against President Trump’s wasteful border wall and to protect our Dreamers. When 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 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, and it’s imperative that we see our border with Mexico as an opportunity, not a threat. I believe it will take a whole-of-government approach to fix our broken immigration system and keep America‚Äôs promise to provide a safe place to those who work hard and abide by the rules.



Paid for by Scott Peters for Congress

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