Immigration

IMMIGRATION

Texas Democrats believe the United States has always been a vibrant nation of immigrants. We value those who come from different countries and cultures. Immigrants add to the prosperity, innovation, and resilience of this great country. Immigrants hold professional jobs, teach in our educational institutions, own businesses, build our homes, grow our food, and work across industries. We believe in fostering better bilateral relationships with all nations including our southern neighbor with whom we share an expansive border. Importantly, viewing immigrants through the lens of fear and prejudice only serves to undermine our values, prosperity, and security as a state and as a nation. Our government’s failure to enact meaningful, long-term immigration reform has left us with the broken system we have today. Our country is stronger with a more fair and equitable immigration system.

The Texas Democratic Party supports policies and programs that:

  • Enact comprehensive immigration reform, including an attainable path to citizenship;
  • Reform employment and education-based immigration, including an increase in visas, to continue to attract and retain innovative and talented individuals from across the world;
  • Reform family-based immigration, including expanding visa availability, especially for populous countries such as China, India, and Mexico, to expedite family reunification and lessen visa wait times;
  • Abolish reentry bans for non-violent legal permanent resident applicants and increasing approvals of hardship waivers;
  • Increase awareness of and access to U & T Visas to encourage the reporting and pursuit of criminal activities;
  • Remove limits placed on asylum claims or Temporary Protected Status for refugees fleeing natural disasters, forced gang recruitment, family violence, and violence perpetrated by gangs;
  • Prevent efforts to increase the fees associated with visa applications and mitigate the onerous paperwork requirements, which effectively create unnecessary barriers to immigration;
  • Combat efforts to expand public charge rules which discourage people, including U.S. Citizen children, from accessing safety net programs;
  • Protect and expand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA);
  • Expand coverage under the Affordable Care Act to undocumented immigrants;
  • Ensure there are no bans based on religious affiliation or country of origin;
  • Uphold the 14th Amendment provision of the U.S. Constitution;
  • Provide equal housing opportunities to all immigrants;
  • Ensure asylum seekers are treated humanely;
  • Prohibit efforts to waste money on a border wall;
  • Tear down inappropriate and unnecessary walls and fencing along the border;
  • Forbid separating children from their parents and housing children in tent cities and cages;
  • Call for the shutdown to all family detention centers;
  • Mitigate efforts to limit and interfere with established federal, state, and faith-based refugee programs;
  • Reduce the current backlogs in U.S. Immigration Court by adding sufficient judges and providing individual legal assistance to all who come before the court;
  • Ensure fair and just treatment of all people in immigration proceedings regardless of race, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other characteristics;
  • Allow undocumented students to attend in-state institutions of higher learning and qualify for in-state tuition;
  • Permit all Texas residents to obtain a driver’s license to increase safety on our roads;
  • Repeal Texas Senate Bill 4, or the “show me your papers” law, which effectively allows racial profiling by law enforcement;
  • Mandate the lawful and humane treatment of immigrants by all law enforcement and correction officers;
  • End any cooperation between Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and local law enforcement;
  • Establish a humane immigration system by terminating ICE and ensuring that any immigration enforcement processes transferred to existing agencies comply with domestic and international law;
  • Repeal Section 287g programs of the Immigration and Nationality Act;
  • Prohibit the immigration detention facility bed mandate, which encourages quotas;
  • Circumvent the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) sharing information or statistics on the legal status of any person stopped for a traffic offense; and
  • Repeal Title 8, Section 1325 of the United States Federal Code which is being used to treat unauthorized border crossings as a criminal offense instead of their long-standing, historical treatment as a civil matter.