Keep Families Together: An effective immigration system does not create cruelty but prevents it.

I firmly believe that the most vulnerable among us are not, and must never be, used as tools for political expediency. I condemn this administration’s forced separation of immigrant children from their families. It is time for representatives to come together to create a pragmatic, long-term, and compassionate solution to illegal immigration.

First, we must recognize that deterrence policies are expensive and ultimately ineffective when the number of asylum seekers at the border continues to rise.

The Northern Triangle of Central America is consistently among the most violent regions in the world. We cannot deter families who are fleeing for their lives. I've witnessed this violence first hand when living and working in Central America and serving on the board of Cristosal, a human rights organization that works to help victims of violence. I have also witnessed the incredible capacity of local and international organizations to assist families before they are forced to seek protection abroad. We can and should continue to support the many organizations that are doing rights-based work through the State Department and other agencies to address the root causes of illegal immigration.

Second, we must recommit to fulfilling our obligations under national and international laws. I applaud the Justice Department’s efforts to increase the number of judges at the southern border. However, this effort must have at its core a commitment to respect every individual’s human rights.

Under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, immigrants have the right to cross the border and request asylum. It does not mean individuals are allowed to stay; it is merely the first step in a long and arduous investigation where the applicant must prove a valid fear of return to their home country. To detain and deport these asylum-seekers before they have a chance to present their case is illegal, and that is precisely what this administration is doing.

We are a nation of laws and due process, and if you send me to Congress to represent California's 1st District, I will work to craft policy that both honors that truth, and the rights of individuals and families on both sides of the border. I will also support the institution-building work of the State Department and other agencies and organizations to help the governments of Central American countries address the root causes of illegal immigration.

An effective immigration system does not create cruelty, but prevents it. The core of my belief system centers around the fact that all people are inherently equal in worth and dignity and hold the same inalienable rights.

That is why I am committed to representing California’s 1st District and working with all members of Congress to find lasting solutions that honor the rights of individuals and families on both sides of the border.

 

Sign our Petition to Congressman LaMalfa:

Ask him to please call for an end to this cruel policy that forces the separation of immigrant children from their parents.