The immigration debate cuts to the heart of who we are as a nation. The Trump Administration’s senseless policies that dehumanize migrants—from separating migrant children from their parents, to attempting to significantly limit legal grants of asylum—have created an artificial and manufactured humanitarian disaster at our border. Simply put, this Administration’s actions—aided and abetted by Cory Gardner’s inaction—are based on cruelty, are designed to foster division and bigotry within our country, and do not reflect our American values. The damage they have caused must be addressed immediately.
Merely solving this immediate crisis, while crucial, is not enough. We also need comprehensive immigration reform to replace our fundamentally broken immigration laws with a fair and just system that treats immigrants with decency and respect, consistent with who we are as a nation.
John firmly believes that we can have secure borders and at the same time be a welcoming, decent nation that lives up to our historical legacy as a nation of immigrants.
John’s priorities to ensure that our country has an immigration system rooted in fairness and decency include:
- Ending Family Separation Policies and Treating Asylum Seekers at the Border with Human Decency. The Trump Administration’s calculated and continuing policy of separating children from parents and family members must be stopped once and for all, and children detained at the border and elsewhere treated with decency and reunited with family members as rapidly as possible. In addition, asylum seekers presenting themselves at the border should be treated with decency and respect while their claims are considered and decided by the courts as rapidly as possible.
- Protecting the DREAMers. We must reverse the Trump Administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and immediately reinstate the promise we made to the eligible immigrant youth who came to the U.S. when they were children to protect them from deportation.
- Enacting Long-Overdue Comprehensive Immigration Reform. For too long, Congress has failed to fix our deeply-broken immigration system. As Colorado’s next Senator, John will prioritize comprehensive reform including fairer legal immigration laws and policies.
- Protecting Immigrant Beneficiaries of the Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) program. Hundreds of thousands of law-abiding Salvadoran immigrants have lived legally for decades in the United States, building lives, families and business all across the United States. We should reverse the Trump Administration’s capricious decision to expel these law-abiding legal immigrants from the United States and provide them a mechanism for earning permanent residency and citizenship.
- Effective, Modern Border Security. We must prioritize investment in 21st century solutions to securing our borders, rather than the physical wall that the Trump Administration has demanded—and which Cory Gardner has supported—which is political posturing, not a meaningful solution to illegal immigration.
- Addressing the Root Causes of Migration. In addition to ensuring that our borders are meaningfully secured, we must address the root causes of migration to the U.S. by providing aid and humanitarian support to Central American countries.
- Providing Pathways to Citizenship. Congress must enact long-term solutions that create a navigable path to citizenship for immigrants, including the DREAMers and those with TPS status.
A fluent Spanish-speaker from his days as an exchange student to Mexico in middle-school, John has been on the front lines fighting Trump and Gardner’s inhumane and irrational immigration policies. John led a group of attorneys at his former law firm that represented many immigrants held in the migrant detention facility in Aurora, Colorado who had been separated from children at the border. For that effort, he and his firm won the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network’s Pro Bono Service Award for 2018.
As Colorado’s next Senator, John will continue his leadership in this area and prioritize the urgent humanitarian crisis at the border as well as a long-overdue, meaningful overhaul of our legal immigration system.