The United States is a proud Nation of immigrants. We’ve welcomed refugees and immigrants for generations, forming a culturally diverse and open country unlike any other in the world. My own grandmother legally emigrated from Colombia in search of greater freedom and opportunity for her family. Our immigration system, however, must ensure that those who wish to come to America and thrive in our “land of opportunity” do so in a legal manner, which, currently, it fails to do.
The first step in the immigration reform process must be to secure our borders, period. Significant progress must be made on this issue before we take any further steps. Currently, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has no metrics to properly understand the security of our borders. DHS must establish realistic metrics while using readily-available technology that provides transparency and allows us to properly address areas of concern across our borders.
I’ll work toward a new legal immigration system that: establishes verifiable enforcement measures that ensure visitors leave our country when they're supposed to; provides our agricultural industries with the workers they need; requires immigrants to understand and speak basic English; and revises Visa programs to attract and keep more entrepreneurs, investors and highly skilled workers in science, technology, engineering and math fields. We need immigration policies that honor our heritage as both a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws.