Immigration policy throughout the U.S. has been backward and counterproductive for years. Both sides of the political system understand that changes need to be made, but their solutions vary greatly. The Democratic Party is committed to protecting undocumented workers from employers, providing a pathway to citizenship, and reforming the Immigration and Naturalization Service to reduce a backlog of processing and legal representation for immigrants.
Many conservatives, on the other hand, are fighting for increased militarization of the border and regressive legislation to circumvent established practices with intention of disintegrating migrant families and the rule of law at the border. Not only to Democrats need to engage Americans on our policies, but we also need to fight against their incredibly immoral policies. Instead of unrealistically demanding that we get rid of all undocumented immigrants, we should try to provide a pathway to citizenship or permanent residency, so that they can begin to be fully integrated into the American society and economy.
Additionally, much of what Obama has done in relation to our immigration system has directly impacted young people. The proposed federal Dream Act would greatly benefit America’s undocumented youth by giving them access to higher education and a pathway to permanent residency. California’s AB540 Dream Act Legislation is already a highly functional and beneficial model of how humanity and rationality in legislation can lift thousands of the undocumented out of low-skilled labor and into higher education. However, because of stubborn congressional gridlock, the federal Dream Act has yet to pass. In response to this, however, Obama issued an executive order which permits people who entered the country illegally as children to remain in the country and work without fear of deportation for at least two years. This is not the typical shirking of constitutional duties of which the Republicans in Congress are guilty, but rather brave leadership in the midst of the worst humanitarian crisis currently occurring on this side of the globe.
San Francisco State University College Democrats have been fervent advocates of the California Dream Act and will continue to support similar efforts on a national level. As Democrats, we pledge compassion and humanity in our treatment of the recent boom of migrant children from throughout Central and Latin America to the United States. We know that the circumstances that may have forced people to our shores of freedom may not necessarily be of our fault, but we understand that our treatment of these huddled masses yearning to be free is most definitely an issue with which we must act with the utmost dignity and respect.
America is a nation of immigrants and it continues to be as more minority children are now being born and outnumbering “majority” ethnicities in our classrooms. For us San Francisco State University College Democrats immigration is not a political issue nor do we view these undocumented migrants as a target demographic. Instead, these are human beings our treatment of them should reflect that understanding.
The blocking of buses in Murrieta and throughout by fellow Californians and Americans is a downright shame to the United States not just from here in San Francisco but to the world. How can our fellow citizens wave the American flag, red with the blood of the immigrants that built the railroads and bridges that grew our nation and blue with the pain and struggles of current migrant families just eking to get by, to wave away buses of migrant children back home? How can they chant the very nativist slogans that kept their great grandparents away from employment opportunities and housing not too long ago? We San Francisco State University College Democrats don’t believe in pulling up the ladder once we have reached the top. We do not believe in closing off this land of opportunity to just those that speak our language or share our skin color. We believe in compassion. We believe in humanity. We believe in dignity. We believe that undocumented children that grow up to get college degrees or volunteer to serve and possibly die in our armed forces under our flag and in our name deserve to live in our nation. Most of all, we are the party that believes that sharing the land we have earned, all as immigrants or children of immigrants, is what we are ordained by our creator to do.
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