ICYMI: Texas needs Washington to fix our immigration system
(Mission, TX)— The Austin American Statesman published an op-ed by Coalitions Director for The LIBRE Initiative- Texas, Jorge Martinez, urging Washington lawmakers to act on improving our country’s immigration system. Read the entire article here.
Below are excerpts from the piece:
It’s not just immigrants who are hurt by the inaction. The country suffers from not having a modern, efficient and working immigration system. Texas is particularly hard hit because of our growing and demanding economy, our diverse need for workers with critical skills, and our more than 1,200 miles of border with Mexico.
President Donald Trump recently unveiled his long-awaited reform proposal. It includes some important steps forward, but there are important additions that should be debated.
Any substantive changes to our country’s immigration laws should include protections for Dreamers. The good news is that lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have expressed support for Dreamers. And recently, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to extend permanent legal protection for Dreamers. This was encouraging, but now it’s time for lawmakers to continue this momentum and reach across the aisle to work together to improve other areas of our country’s immigration system, because neither the left nor the right alone can get to define what immigration policy looks like.
Other features of the president’s plan include instituting a point-based selection system whereby prospective immigrants would get more points for having a valuable skill, an offer of employment, an advanced education or a plan to create jobs. But with 7.5 million job openings, including 360,000 in construction alone, we need an immigration system that can accommodate American and immigrant workers with a range of talents and skill levels.
The president’s proposal provides another inflection point that could shift this contentious, long-stalled debate toward resolution, if only our lawmakers can muster the courage to act. We should not allow this opportunity to slip away.
Click here to read the full op-ed.