“We have to keep families together. We have to treat everyone with dignity and compassion, uphold the rule of law, and respect our heritage as a nation of immigrants striving to build a better life.” -Hillary Clinton
America is a nation of values, founded on an idea - that all men and women are created equal, and that all people have rights, no matter what they look like or where they came from. Hillary believes that how we as a country treat new immigrants reflects our commitment to the values that define us as Americans. It’s not about what you look like or where you were born that makes you American - it’s how you live your life and what you do that defines you here in this country. That’s why Hillary believes that all Americans who contribute to this country, our communities, and economy deserve a common sense immigration process, one that includes a roadmap for people who aspire to be citizens.
Americans of all political persuasions agree that our current immigration process is broken and that we need to create a system that includes a roadmap to citizenship—more than 3 in 5 Americans believe we should allow illegal immigrants to remain in the United States and become U.S. citizens if they meet certain requirements. Hillary has a long history of fighting for legislation and policies that would address our country’s broken system and create a common sense immigration process. She cosponsored the DREAM Act, which would allow immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to become citizens. She has also fought continuously for comprehensive immigration reform, arguing that its passage would ensure that families could stay together: “It is time to take all the rhetoric about family values and put it into action and show that we mean what we say when we talk about putting families first.”
She has also advocated for policies that would improve the lives of immigrants already in the United States. She introduced and helped pass the Legal Immigrant Children’s Health Improvement Act, which ensured access to healthcare for immigrant children and pregnant women. This legislation was widely praised on both sides of the aisle for cutting the number of uninsured children living in poverty in half. She has also advocated for programs for immigrants that would provide job training and English language instruction.
As President, Hillary will ensure that our broken immigration system is fixed once and for all, and that immigrants who contribute to our communities and economy will have a roadmap to citizenship. Her plan rewards hardworking immigrants who uphold American values and would deport violent criminals who harm our country. Her plan is a much more sensible approach than those promoted by conservative Republicans that call for mass deportation of the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. and the banning of all Muslims. The Republican alternative will cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars and disrupt our economy which relies on the labor and skills of hardworking immigrants. Even more “moderate” Republican proposals that call for an enforcement-only approach have been discredited as futile—the U.S. has spent almost $200 billion on enforcement policies since 1986, yet the number of immigrants crossing our borders has tripled. The Republican way is backwards, out of touch, and simply not working.
Studies have shown that plans like Hillary’s would significantly boost the American economy by generating up to $5 billion in tax revenue from new citizens and by raising the earnings of American workers. A commonsense immigration process would ensure that employers who exploit illegal immigrant workers would be held accountable so that wages for all workers are fair.
The need for immigration reform is clear, and not only will Hillary’s commonsense immigration process improve the U.S. economy, it will also bring our country closer to the core American values that define us as Americans—opportunity, equality, and respect for the dignity of all human beings.
This blog is part of a series based on the book, 52 Reasons To Vote For Hillary. In an effort to provide the facts about Hillary Clinton, her record, and her plans for America, the authors of the book have decided to publish one reason through Election Day. To find out more about the book, visit the website or buy your copy here.