Reforming the Legal Immigration System

Our immigration system is complex and inefficient – built on laws that have not been updated in decades. Our economy has doubled in size and our population has increased by 30% since the last major reform to our immigration system. With millions of jobs unfilled and a growing economy, it’s imperative that we have a dynamic immigration system that is responsive to the needs and demands of the American market.

America’s future is brighter with more people here and contributing to it. A clear legal immigration process promotes assimilation by making it easier for immigrants and their children to join communities, find jobs, enroll in schools, and fully embrace the American Dream. Providing them with legal certainty and the ability to plan for their futures empowers them to develop their talents, work, study, join in public service, and recognize their potential to contribute to society. Importantly, a workable legal immigration system will simplify the process for people to apply and immigrate through legal channels and reduce the incentive for immigrants to come here outside of our laws. With that in mind, reforms to our legal immigration system are a critical part of improving enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws.

We support a system of visas that prioritize contributions to fill gaps in the labor market, generate new economic growth, and meet our present and future economic needs and demands – while securing our future with the ingenuity, entrepreneurship and hard work required to drive business and innovation.

Recognizing Contributing Immigrants

Today’s immigration system keeps too many decent, industrious people from fully participating in the American experience—to the detriment of our country as a whole. It also needlessly regulates the actions of millions of Americans seeking the necessary labor pool to sustain their businesses.

Many people felt compelled to flee untenable conditions in their country of origin and have come to the United States in violation of our laws out of an understandable desire to build a better life, and because no workable legal avenue existed for them. While lawbreaking should not be overlooked, a workable visa system should exist to allow people to come here to work and contribute to the country.

We support a system that recognizes contributing members among the undocumented population and brings them out of the shadows with legal status. For those who want nothing more than to build a better future and contribute to our society, a permanent legislative solution is needed. Mass deportations are not a reasonable solution, and neither is the status quo – It does not make us safer or help our country.

We support a law that provides individuals with the ability to plan their lives, including permanent status for Dreamers. TPS recipients and DED recipients currently face uncertainty over their futures in a country that has been their home, many of whom have lived in the U.S. for over two decades and have been contributors to our communities, and our nation’s fabric. We support efforts that seeks to bring immigrants out of the shadows and the vast majority of them, who are contributing members of our communities, to legally remain in the country.

Border Security, Enforcement and Asylum

We should prevent those who would do us harm from doing so while, simultaneously, welcoming immigrants who will add immeasurable value to our economy and our culture. We can have more immigration, a stronger economy, and safer communities.

Border security efforts should allow our federal government to focus on establishing safety and security, by defending us from those that present risks to national security, and not those who simply want to apply their skills.

Additionally, America should preserve its history of fairly and expeditiously considering the claims made by those who present themselves at our borders. However, our laws do not require the United States to accept every asylum applicant, and we should not attempt to do so. While some changes to the asylum process may be warranted changes should focus on reducing the pressures at the border and allowing for fair proceedings and adequate enforcement.

Ultimately, a more secure border will be achieved once we provide better and more accessible legal options for immigrants to enter legally, which will ease the pressure on the border and remove a major incentive for illegal immigration


Senate Initially Caves over Ex-Im, But Crony Bank Remains Closed

LIBRE Applauds Bipartisan AG Bill

Earlier this week a bipartisan group of House members introduced a bill that would help to modernize the H-2A agricultural guest worker program, and expand the avenues made available for both temporary and permanent migration of agricultural workers. The Farm Workforce Modernization Act, presented by Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, Zoe Lofgren, Dan Newhouse, Collin Peterson, Jimmy Panetta, … Read More
The LIBRE Initiative

The LIBRE Initiative and Americans for Prosperity Submit Public Comment on Immigrant Health Insurance Coverage

This week Americans for Prosperity and The LIBRE Initiative submitted a public comment in response to the State Department’s proposed information-collection request regarding immigrant health insurance coverage. As it is currently written, the State Department’s proposal creates unanswered questions and relies on ambiguous standards that will cause confusion and potentially disrupt the immigration system. The … Read More
Congress: Give my Brother a Chance at the American Dream

Congress: Give my Brother a Chance at the American Dream

By Evelyn Marquez Rodriguez It has been one year since the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, was officially ended. For some, perhaps that year has flown by. But for me, without a permanent solution to replace the legal status DACA offered, time crawls agonizingly slow. I’m a legal resident, though, so it’s … Read More
Do Stricter Immigration Laws Incentivize Unlawful Immigration?

Do Stricter Immigration Laws Incentivize Unlawful Immigration?

If you implement policies that make it more difficult to enter the country legally, would that unintentionally increase unlawful immigration?  Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd thinks so. He told CNN that a new asylum policy — requiring some asylum seekers to go back to Mexico while their cases are pending in U.S. immigration courts — is like “opening up a Pandora’s box:”  “This is … Read More