We need an immigration policy that’s tough, fair, and practical. It needs to be tough on border security to prevent people from trying to smuggle guns, drugs, or people. It needs to be fair to taxpayers, and it needs to be a practical solution that will finally address the problem. In 2013, the Senate passed a package of comprehensive reforms that, while not perfect, goes a long way toward making progress on all of these fronts. I’m a member of the New Democrat Coalition, and we have backed a series of principles which must be included in a new comprehensive package of reforms.
Unfortunately, obstruction from current Congressional leadership has so far prevented a simple up-or-down vote in the House. While other candidates are running in this race to empower more of this obstruction masquerading as leadership, I've signed the discharge petition to finally hold a vote on an immigration reform package mirroring the reforms that the Senate passed in the summer of 2013.
We must also continue to improve border security and streamline the border crossings that facilitate billions of dollars in cross-border commerce. I worked with other members of San Diego’s Congressional delegation -- both Democrats and Republicans -- to secure $221 million in funding for the border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana that regional business leaders called San Diego's top priority for job creation. The improved crossing will strengthen border security and create thousands of jobs by improving the flow of trade and commerce.
Immigration affects our entire region, but we've seen that the current leadership in the House is so beholden to far-right Tea Party forces that these leaders are unwilling to even let us vote on the issue. The last thing we need is to strengthen their hand by giving them more votes for still worse obstruction. We need to get real and provide the American people real solutions.
I’ll continue to work with our entire San Diego delegation to tackle this head-on and work towards real, common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform.