Democrat Platform on immigration
- Democrats believe that comprehensive immigration reform is essential to continuing the tradition of innovation that immigrants have brought to the American economy and to ensuring a level playing field for American workers.
- But while Republicans have refused to act on bills that both protect our national security and provide a fair pathway to citizenship for those contributing to our society, President Obama has stepped in.
- In November 2014, President Obama announced executive action offering deportation relief for up to five million undocumented immigrants who are contributing to their communities, while also cracking down on illegal immigration at the border and ensuring that immigrants who live here pay taxes.
- Democrats believe in a more permanent solution that keeps families together and our country safe, which is why President Obama wants to work with the new Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill similar to the one that Senate Democrats passed in the last Congress.
- As President Obama said when he announced his executive order, “we were strangers once, too.” Democrats believe that immigrants add to the richness of our society, and we are committed to making our immigration system work again.
- That’s why Democrats support comprehensive reform grounded in the principles of responsibility and accountability:
Responsibility from the federal government to secure our borders: The Obama administration has dedicated unprecedented resources to securing our borders and reducing the flow of illegal traffic in both directions.
Responsibility from unscrupulous businesses that break the law: Employers who exploit undocumented workers undermine American workers, and they have to be held accountable.
Responsibility from people who are living in the United States illegally: Undocumented workers who are in good standing must admit that they broke the law, pay taxes and a penalty, learn English, and get right with the law before they can get in line to earn their citizenship.
If you’re ready for Congress to take on comprehensive immigration reform, add your name today: http://my.democrats.org/Immigration-Reform-Today
Immigration. Democrats are strongly committed to enacting comprehensive immigration reform that supports our economic goals and reflects our values as both a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. The story of the United States would not be possible without the generations of immigrants who have strengthened our country and contributed to our economy. Our prosperity depends on an immigration system that reflects our values and meets America's needs. But Americans know that today, our immigration system is badly broken—separating families, undermining honest employers and workers, burdening law enforcement, and leaving millions of people working and living in the shadows.
Democrats know there is broad consensus to repair that system and strengthen our economy, and that the country urgently needs comprehensive immigration reform that brings undocumented immigrants out of the shadows and requires them to get right with the law, learn English, and pay taxes in order to get on a path to earn citizenship. We need an immigration reform that creates a system for allocating visas that meets our economic needs, keeps families together, and enforces the law. But instead of promoting the national interest, Republicans have blocked immigration reform in Congress and used the issue as a political wedge.
Despite the obstacles, President Obama has made important progress in implementing immigration policies that reward hard work and demand personal responsibility. Today, the Southwest border is more secure than at any time in the past 20 years. Unlawful crossings are at a 40-year low, and the Border Patrol is better staffed than at any time in its history. We are continuing to work to hold employers accountable for whom they hire. The Department of Homeland Security is prioritizing the deportation of criminals who endanger our communities over the deportation of immigrants who do not pose a threat, such as children who came here through no fault of their own and are pursuing an education. President Obama's administration has streamlined the process of legal immigration for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, supporting family reunification as a priority, and has enhanced opportunities for English-language learning and immigrant integration. When states sought to interfere with federal immigration law by passing local measures targeting immigrants, this administration challenged them in court.
President Obama and the Democrats fought for the DREAM Act, legislation ensuring that young people who want to contribute fully to our society and serve our country are able to become legal residents and ultimately citizens. Although this bill has a long history of bipartisan support, Republicans decided to play politics with it rather than do the right thing. So the Obama administration provided temporary relief for youth who came to the United States as children, through no fault of their own, grew up as Americans and are poised to make a real contribution to our country.
"We congratulate President Barack Obama for giving hope to millions of aspiring citizens when he announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Immigrant youth—who grow up attending our schools, churches, and places of recreation—come to this nation with the same desires and ideals the forefathers had; liberty, justice, and the pursuit of happiness. In order to create immigration policies that reflect our nation's values, lawmakers must work together to protect the rights of all and create a road map that allows immigrants to become full-fledged citizens. With our dreams, work, and talent we can help make America a more just and prosperous country." — Gaby Pacheco, Listening to America hearing participant
These are not permanent fixes. Only Congress can provide a permanent, comprehensive solution. But these are steps in the right direction. President Obama and the Democratic Party stand for comprehensive immigration reform that intelligently prioritizes our country's security and economic needs, while Mitt Romney and the Republicans have opposed commonsense reforms and pandered to the far right.