The U.S. immigration system is broken. The government is not managing migration in an efficient or effective manner, and often fails to treat human beings with the dignity and respect we each deserve. One of the greatest qualities of the United States is how this country has provided sanctuary and opportunities for people from around the world. In the process, immigrants have enriched our culture, strengthened our economy, and made America a better place for everyone.
My own family has benefited from this legacy of America: my Protestant ancestors who escaped persecution in Britain, and my Jewish ancestors who fled pogroms in Eastern Europe, all came here for a better life. My wife was born in Nigeria, grew up in Pittsburgh, attended university and veterinary school and is a thriving businesswoman in Austin. My children are growing up in a vibrant community of rich cultures and perspectives.
I want the United States to implement a humane border policy that is consistent with international law. We must end the practice of criminalizing asylum-seekers, and the related programs that encourage the detention of vulnerable individuals and families. We must take the profit motive out of immigration enforcement by outlawing private immigration jails. We must look at comprehensive reform of U.S. immigration agencies currently housed under the Department of Homeland Security – including ICE and Customs and Border Patrol, agencies that have shocked the world with their cruel treatment of migrant families.
This is why we must build consensus on comprehensive immigration reform:
• I support a path to citizenship for Dreamers, people with Temporary Protected Status, and undocumented immigrants and families who are living and working in the United States.
• I support the Reuniting Families Act, which will reform the visa system, strengthen family reunification, and address some of the bureaucratic challenges in our immigration system.
• I support rescinding harmful and punitive policies like the Muslim Ban and the practice of deporting veterans, which violate the promise of our democratic nation and do not make us safer.
• I oppose the Border Wall, which is a wasteful, ineffective monument to hatred.
• I support the repeal of Section 1325, the law which allows for family separation.
• I support investing in immigration courts and social services that will allow for the efficient processing of claims and cases.
Finally, in terms of international relations, we must address the root causes of increased migration from Latin America. Domestically, we should end the War on Drugs, a racist and wasteful policy that only destroys families within the United States, but that also exacerbates the scourge of drug cartels and narco governments. And outside our borders, we must support democracy in Latin America, oppose dictatorships and corruption, and promote economic development, the development of civil society, and protections for workers and their unions. By promoting stable conditions and addressing the push factors for migration in Mexico and Central America, we can reduce the number of individuals and families forced to seek protection within our borders.
Mike's Record on Immigration
Before running for Congress, Mike served as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Austin, and helped lead the legal fight against the 2017 anti-immigrant law, Texas Senate Bill 4.
SB4, like many Trump-era policies, was designed to strike fear in the immigrant community, and push folks to recede from public life. We built a strong coalition against SB4 and what it represented; the largest cities in Texas joined together to sue the State, and we won important legal battles to delay and minimize the law.
The fight against SB4 showed a Texas that will stand up for every member of the community. We need to restore that spirit to the nation.