The LIBRE Initiative believes the best system of immigration is one that provides security at our borders and has an efficient and effective legal immigration process.

Far too often, political squabbles and voices on the fringes present a false choice: border security or immigration reform. The reality is we must do both. Immigrants have long contributed to some of this country’s greatest accomplishments and the Hispanic community understands this on a deeply personal level. With many individuals in our community closely connected to an immigrant story, either their own or a family member’s, we know many of the nuances, challenges, and potential that immigrants face in their pursuit of the American Dream. Our country needs to take control of its immigration system to ensure it derives the benefits that it can bring, honors the humanity of those who want to work, learn, and contribute to this nation, while also restricting entry to those individuals who wish to do this country harm.

Reforming the Legal Immigration System

Our immigration system is complex and inefficient – built on laws that have not been updated in decades. 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 that are complementary to American workers. Economic growth is weakened, and American workers are hurt when employers cannot fill positions and take advantage of opportunities to expand and grow. 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. Ensuring established legal pathways work as they should, would bring about a level of certainty and the ability to plan for a future where immigrants can develop their talents, work, study, join in public service, and become rooted in their local communities. A workable legal immigration system will simplify the process for people to apply and enter through legal channels, consequently reducing the incentive to come here outside of U.S. laws. With that in mind, reforms to our legal immigration system, particularly those that reduce backlogs and respond to U.S. needs are a critical part of strengthening the nation as a whole. 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 growth, job creation, and innovation.

Border Security, Enforcement, and Asylum

LIBRE recognizes the importance of securing and defending our borders from individuals or groups that want to cause harm. Border security efforts should allow our federal government to focus on establishing safety and security, by defending us from those who present risks to national security. There are numerous bipartisan solutions that could work toward establishing a safer and more secure border, which works to the benefit of all. These include addressing the border patrol labor challenges, providing adequate support to local law enforcement, eliminating terrain challenges when possible, and improving the asylum process to expedite rejection of unqualified claims and acceptance of legitimate claims. Part of ensuring proper security is gathering of information and proper documentation to know as much as possible about individuals who are entering the country. These efforts require adequate processing as well as information gathering mechanisms that are only possible with enough personnel and resources. Low staff levels paired with outdated or broken technology not only leave portions of the border unmonitored but lead to further lags when it comes to processing individuals. By an overwhelming majority Americans want immigration reform. Our current system does not work. Pursuing only legal avenues would lead to improvements in the same way that pursuing only border security measures would lead to improvements. That said, without addressing both parts of this complex system, real, substantial, and lasting reform cannot occur.