Instead of building walls, we must build bridges. Passing comprehensive immigration reform will grow the Texas economy—it will mean more small business startups and more graduating students. In terminating the Deferred Action Child Arrival (DACA) program, Donald Trump and Republicans have only viewed Dreamers as bargaining chips to impose other anti-immigrant proposals. I stand with our Dreamers, many of whom know America as their only home. President Trump’s heartless deportation measures only tear families apart and hurt local law enforcement’s ability to fight crime. This will not make America great or safe. Instead, we should work together to fix our immigration system.
That is why I am a sponsor of the American DREAM Act, which would create a path to lawful permanent residence and eventually U.S. citizenship for those that meet a set of educational or work criteria. I raised this directly with President Trump at the White House. I opposed any end-of-the-year appropriations bill that lacked full protection for our Nation’s Dreamers.
We also cannot turn our backs on refugees and people of the Muslim faith. President Trump’s un-American, unconstitutional, anti-Muslim immigration order is limited to certain Muslim-majority countries, but excludes Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, where all but one of the 9/11 hijackers originated, and excludes countries with a Trump Tower or a Trump Golf Course. Federal courts have correctly prevented his order from becoming law.
Our Nation, founded by immigrants who established religious freedom as a bedrock principle, is better than this. We must keep the torch lit on the commitment expressed by the Statue of Liberty, and keep our promise to minister to the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.