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Castro wants to legalize weed and regulate it. Following the August shootings in El Paso and Dayton that left 31 dead, Castro unveiled a plan to combat white nationalism and gun violence. The plan calls for domestic terrorism investigations to be rebalanced so appropriate attention is given to white nationalist terror; the creation of a White House Initiative on Disarming Hate, as well as other programs to combat hate; and several gun control measures, including ending the gun show loophole, enacting universal background checks, requiring a license to purchase any firearms, renewing a ban on assault weapons, and more.

There is a movement in America to change our gun safety laws and fight for our future. Yesterday I released a comprehensive plan to combat the rise in white nationalism and the gun violence epidemic in our country. Castro supports the idea and wants to replace the Electoral College with a national popular vote. Castro told the Washington Post that he does not support adding justices to the Supreme Court, but is open to other reforms. Wade :. Castro has spoken out about the need to protect voting rights and voiced support for giving some, but not all, felons the right to vote.

The one exception [is] for people who are violent felons. When you commit certain types of violent crime, I believe that you lose all of those things. He supports some form of reparations but he has yet to lay out a specific plan. He reiterated his support for reparations — not just considering them, but making them — on Juneteenth.

The Minnesota senator feels the path to universal health care begins by expanding the Affordable Care Act to include a public option — specifically allowing insurance customers on state exchanges to buy into Medicaid, the program that currently serves the disadvantaged. Klobuchar also wants to lift the ban on drug importation and to force Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices. In July, Klobuchar released a plan specifically targeted at bolstering care for senior citizens. She has said that within her first days in office she will introduce climate legislation that will put the United States on a path to net zero carbon emissions by Klobuchar does support free community college, better refinancing options for student debt, and an expansion of Pell grants.

Amy Klobuchar. But the Democratic presidential candidate says she wants to make college more affordable by creating easier ways to refinance loans and make community college free. KlobucharTownHall pic. Klobuchar supports a pathway to citizenship for most undocumented immigrants and an increase in legal immigration.

She calls for reform, rather than abolition, of ICE. Klobuchar supports federal, automatic voter registration at age 18 , a reform she says could create 22 million new voters. After a New York Times article exposed the policy , a spokesperson said it had never been enforced and would be changed. Rosa DeLauro and Jan Schakowsky, last year. The greatest threat we face is climate change. But by showing up to meet with, listen to, and learn from thousands of Americans on the ground in communities across this country, we've put together a bold, ambitious, historic plan to meet this challenge with everything we've got.

He supports ending the federal prohibition on marijuana. His four part plan would end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and reinvest that money into support programs and a state-of-the-art VA health care system. It would ensure veterans succeed when they come home. He supports ending the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funding from being used for abortions except in extreme cases like rape and incest, and increasing funding for Title X, the federal family planning program. Gabbard supports universal health care, and co-sponsored the Medicare-for-All Act, which was introduced to the House of Representatives in She does, however, believe that Americans should have the option to remain their private insurance providers.

Gabbard has been stridently anti-interventionist, and believes the United States should withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Syria. But her approach to foreign policy has gone beyond taking a strong anti-war position. Well, we just have to be engaged? That November, Gabbard spoke alongside Rep. Gabbard has advocated for a federal ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

As soon as she declared her candidacy, she was met with a flood of criticism for her past views regarding the LGBTQ community, particularly relating to her work for the Alliance for Traditional Marriage, which fought against gay rights in Hawaii. She also ran a group called Stop Promoting Homosexual America, and has objected to children being taught that homosexuality is normal. She soon apologized later in January. Though Gabbard was anti-abortion early in her career, she has voted in favor of abortion rights on several occasions, and currently has a rating from Planned Parenthood.

Gabbard is open to the idea of reparations, and co-sponsored H. While Yang has a plethora of policy proposals — including everything from publicly funded journalists to a demand that the NCAA pay athletes — he prioritizes three: Universal Basic Income, Medicare for All, and what he calls Human-Centered Capitalism. The last calls for changing the way the U. Yang has also called for a 0. The checks would be financed by a European-style Value Added Tax paid on every business transaction, up and down the supply chain. Yang is promoting universal basic income as a way to insulate America from the impending job loss and dislocation caused by automation and artificial intelligence.

As many as one third of current American jobs are vulnerable to being automated by Some progressives are troubled, however, by the fact that the Freedom Dividend is meant to displace traditional social welfare programs, not add to them. Paying for the Freedom Dividend is much easier than many think. It would not cause much inflation, would be good for business, and help millions of Americans towards better opportunities in life.

Good companies invest in their people. It is time we do the same. Yang has endorsed Medicare-for-All , focusing on the potential to control costs, expand coverage, and the benefits of ending job lock by Americans who stick with employers just to maintain their benefits. Yang wants to regulate and tax greenhouse gas emissions and improve efficiency standards. He sets himself apart from most progressives on climate policy with a focus on human engineering to cool the planet.

Rather than the monopoly powers of Big Tech, Yang is focused on the threat of emerging artificial intelligence. Yang proposes a tiered licensing system for gun owners like those the DMV requires for auto drivers vs. Anyone seeking a semi-automatic weapon or an assault rifle would have to complete more rigorous safety training and intrusive background checks. Yang wants to make community colleges and vocational training accessible. Yang wants to heighten border security and provide ways for undocumented immigrants to normalize their status.

Yang wants to remove the threat of jail time for users of opioids, as countries like Portugal have done. Yang believes abortions can be made less necessary by guaranteeing access to contraception, and by providing universal basic income so prospective parents have more financial security. Like many Democrats, Yang seeks automatic voter registration and the restoration of voting rights to those with past felony convictions although not those convicted of murder , as well as a reduction in the number of offenses that trigger the loss of voting rights to begin with.

Yang has danced around reparations, voicing support for the goal of reducing wealth disparities experienced by black people, but highlighting other tools to address the problem, including government support to shore up the endowments of Historically Black Colleges and Universities as well as the poverty-alleviating benefits of his Freedom Dividend.

The powerful case for immigration

Andrew Cuomo has rebuffed the plan. De Blasio stressed his drive to close the wealth gap at the top of his announcement video. In January, de Blasio guaranteed that everyone in New York City, including undocumented immigrants, would be able to receive affordable health care. De Blasio has not offered specifics on how he would translate the plan nationally, although during the opening night of the first Democratic debates in June, he was one of only two of the 10 candidates onstage the other being Elizabeth Warren to raise their hand when the moderator asked who supports ending the private health insurance industry.

De Blasio has taken measures to combat climate change as mayor of New York. He recently proposed an ambitious plan to mitigate the effects of sea level rise. Climate change is a global emergency and in NYC we are doing everything in our power to combat it. The program has been praised since it was implemented, and, as the New York Times points out, pre-K enrollment has nearly quadrupled since de Blasio took office in De Blasio has on several occasions called for Congress to pass common sense gun safety legislation.

It's not enough to say "thank you for your service" to our troops, we have to be there for them the way they've been there for us. NewYorkStateAG James is absolutely right — we must automatically forgive student loans for our veterans with disabilities. In March, he urged Congress to pass the Dream and Promise Act, which would provide a pathway to citizenship for immigrants brought to the United States while children.

He stated his support for legalization for the first time in December , although, as the New York Times points out , he included a few qualifications, namely that public consumption and consumption by those under 21 should be prohibited. Cast my Electoral College vote today. Still sick over a system that rejects the choice of a 2.

End the E. Stop-and-frisk has declined since de Blasio took over as mayor, and in he signed the Criminal Justice Reform Act, which focused on reforming the handling of low-level offenses. De Blasio does not support the Hyde Amendment, which bars federal funding for abortion except in extreme cases, but he does support dad jokes. De Blasio has also said he would create a commission to study reparations if he were elected president. Williamson has called for the establishment of a Department of Childhood and Youth.

During the first Democratic debates in June, she said that her number-one priority as president would be turning the United States into the best place in the world to raise children. Yes, even better than New Zealand. Williamson, who has pledged not to accept corporate PAC money or fossil fuel money, is calling for a constitutional amendment to establish public financing for federal campaigns. Williamson supports it. Williamson supports the legalization of marijuana and the release of non-violent offenders incarcerated for marijuana-related offenses.

Opioids, she contends, are a much bigger threat than weed. Williamson does not support adding justices to the Supreme Court. Williamson wants to lower the voting age to 16 and pass a constitutional amendment to establish public financing of our federal campaigns. Bullock has based his campaign largely on tackling dark money in politics. Every American deserves a fair shot at success, not just the wealthy. Bullock was hesitant to adopt many of the gun safety measures popular among Democrats, but has recently been more open to reform. He said in that he supports universal background checks and magazine size restrictions.

They recognize that like most policy issues, there is no single proposal or prescription that will solve the issue of gun safety. But they are tired of the enormity and complexity of the challenge being the excuse for inaction. In , Bullock was one of 11 governors to sign a letter urging Congress to take steps to protect the status of undocumented immigrants brought to America as children.

As governor of Montana, Bullock froze the cost of public college tuition. In April, he wrote a Medium post detailing how difficult it was to deal with his own student debt burden, and how crucial it is for students to be able to pursue an affordable education. He has continued to advocate for affordable education while on the campaign trail. Bullock has not been as enthusiastic as some of his competitors about abolishing the Electoral College.

Bullock has said that he is willing to considering various types of Supreme Court reform, including imposing term limits and adding justices. Americans would be able to opt out of public healthcare and receive a tax credit if they want to buy insurance from a private provider, or buy additional insurance from a private provider to supplement their government-provided insurance. Medicare would remain in place for Americans over The issue is one of several around which Delaney has staked his position as perhaps the most moderate Democrat in the field of candidates. Presidential candidate John Delaney booed at CA Dem convention for saying: "Medicare for all may sound good but it's actually not good policy nor is it good politics.

Fossil fuel subsidies would end, and states would receive grants for preventing forest fires, using electric transportation and reducing emissions. Delaney has proposed a national service program for young people graduating from high school. The plan would aim to enroll , high school graduates in the first year of the program, which would provide incentives to work on various building and infrastructure projects managed by both nonprofit and for-profit companies.

Delaney does not support the idea of a wealth tax, a la that of Elizabeth Warren, and has even argued that it might not be constitutional. Instead, he has proposed raising the tax rate on capital gains and matching it with the normal income tax rate. This is fundamentally unfair to working people and it's why I'm campaigning to raise the capital gains rate. Delaney has said he wants to take a three-pointed approach to gun control that involves universal background checks, limiting the availability of military-style assault rifles, and passing a national red flag law, which would allow Americans to argue to a court that someone who poses a danger to them should not be permitted to carry a firearm.

In April, Delaney introduced a point plan to address criminal justice disparity. Delaney believes in a path for citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. My Discharge Student Loans in Bankruptcy Act would reform bankruptcy rules to promote economic fairness. WATCH: pic. At a town hall event hosted by CNN in March, Delaney said he believes marijuana should be reclassified on a federal level. Delaney has not joined some of his more progressive competitors in calling for the abolition of the Electoral College.

Delaney does not believe in altering the makeup of the Supreme Court. Delaney supports abortion rights and has defended government funding of Planned Parenthood. While in Congress, Delaney introduced the Open Our Democracy Act, which would prohibit gerrymandering and require an independent commission to draw congressional boundaries. Delaney also supports automatic voter registration, making Election Day a national holiday and restoring the Voting Rights Act. Delaney has said he would support H.

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It attempts to take the money out of politics and put the American people back in. Michael Bennet is buying FB ads asking donors to help him "challenge" Medicare-for-All in the debates pic. In July, Bennet unveiled a plan to expand access to health care services in rural areas of America though Medicare X. The plan would invest in telemedicine allowing doctors to see patients over video conference , expanding rural broadband, a measures aimed at combating the opioid epidemic, and more. Chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, are more prevalent in rural communities. And the lack of providers and insurers has resulted in higher costs and lower quality of care.

This plan would benefit lower-class and middle-class families with children, and, according to Vox , could cut poverty in the United States by over a third. A former superintendent of the Denver public school system, Bennet has also promised to ensure all children are able to receive high-quality education, beginning in early childhood. Bennet believes the Electoral College should be abolished.

Women across the country should have the right to safe, legal, and accessible abortion. For months, I worked with a bipartisan group of senators to find a solution that protects Dreamers and keeps families together. In February, Bennet sponsored the Marijuana Justice Act, which would end the federal prohibition of cannabis. He has called for automatic voter registration, making Election Day a national holiday, restoring voting rights to the formerly incarcerated, requiring states to allow students to vote where they attend school, and more.

Ryan is a co-sponsor of the Medicare-for-All legislation introduced to the House of Representatives in February. We tried really hard during the Obamacare debates to get the public option in. I think that is the natural next step for us to take. Ryan said in an April interview that his first priority as president would be creating a new U. S industrial policy, and that addressing the climate crisis must be a part of that policy.

I want those vehicles made in the United States. We need one here. Gov needs to create the environment for business to thrive. He sees electric cars and renewable energy as the future where the traditional manufacturing industry is failing. For far too long, our unfair, imbalanced trade deals have hurt American workers and shattered communities across the country. I'm fighting for trade deals that raise wages, cut back outsourcing, and protect workers' rights and freedoms. It's time we put workers first. Ryan used to have an A rating from the NRA, but he distanced himself from the gun lobbying group after the Sandy Hook mass shooting and is now a vocal proponent of universal background checks, reinstating federal funding for gun-violence research, and raising the age limit on certain gun purchases.

I support background checks. I support increased research. I support comprehensive gun safety reforms. But right now … I would say we must be engaged in this. We must have our State Department engaged. We must have our military engaged to the extent they need to be. Ryan supported a suite of bills in that would ensure debt-free and tuition-free public college.

Regarding education, he has devoted time as a presidential candidate to focusing on a push for the integration of Social and Emotional Learning into the education system. We know Social and Emotional Learning helps our kids. Increasing test scores, improving behavior and building school communities. We must integrate SEL in our education system and ensure our students can thrive. Ryan has yet to roll out an immigration plan as part of his campaign. As a congressman, he said the U. Ryan supports it. In a CNN op-ed , he said that marijuana should be legal in all 50 states. A key part of his pitch to prospective voters is that he can win his home state of Ohio, a critical battleground state on the way to reaching votes in the Electoral College.

Ryan told the Washington Post that he does not support adding justices to the Supreme Court. He believes every police officer should wear a body camera, and voted in favor of the First Step Act. Voting rights are a cornerstone of our democracy. Proud to stand with JeanneShaheen in fighting this backwards voter suppression law.

Ryan is a co-sponsor of H.

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The United States Treasury would pay off the debt. Messam has said he supports the idea of Medicare-for-All, and is open to a system that retains the private insurance industry. I agree the minimum wage should be increased. As mayor, my city passed a LivingWage. One should earn a wage that allows them to meet their basic needs.

Messam has been strong on gun safety, and has often cited the shooting at Parkland, which is less than 50 miles away from his home of Miramar, in calling for reform. He has also advocated for a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Messam has said that states should be able to legalize marijuana without interference from the federal government. Messam believes the Electoral College should be abolished.

Messam is open to the idea of adding justices to the Supreme Court. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter. Guns A longtime gun control advocate, Biden responded to a school shooting in May by listing various policies that could prevent future tragedies. Abolishing the Electoral College Biden has yet to take a position on abolishing the Electoral College. Medicare-for-All Warren has voiced support for the idea of Medicare-for-All, but the candidate who seems to have a plan for everything has been uncharacteristically vague about how she would execute such a massive undertaking.

Legal Weed Warren declined to publicly state a position when Massachusetts considered whether to legalize weed in , but now says she voted in favor of the ballot measure and supports nationwide legalization. Closing the Wealth Gap Though some progressives have proposed taxing the ultra-wealthy, Harris wants to focus on offering relief for the lower and middle classes.

Guns In April, Harris said that if Congress does not enact meaningful gun legislation within her first days in office, she would take executive action to bring about several gun control measures. Legal Weed In February, Harris called for the federal legalization of marijuana. Reparations Like many candidates, Harris has said that the idea of reparations needs to be considered. Legal Weed Sanders supports the Marijuana Justice Act, which would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, meaning it would no longer be federally prohibited and legality would be left up to the states.

Voting Rights Sanders seeks to re-enfranchise people with felony records, including those currently behind bars. Free College Buttigieg bucked with some progressives in April when he seemed to oppose tuition-free college while speaking to students at Northeastern University. Foreign Policy In June, Buttigieg delivered a foreign policy-focused speech at the Indiana University at Bloomington in which he laid out several proposals, including repealing and replacing the Authorization for the Use of Military Force AUMF , which essentially gives the president unilateral authority to wage war, and withholding taxpayer money from Israel if it annexes the West Bank.

National Service In July, Buttigieg rolled out a plan for a new national service program that would build a network of one million national service participants by Reparations Buttigieg said in April that he is open to considering reparations. Medicare-for-All Booker supports it. Legal Weed Booker has introduced the Marijuana Justice Act , a sweeping bill that would legalize marijuana at the federal level, and invest billions in communities hardest hit by the drug war while expunging criminal records.

Reparations One of the most vocal candidates on the issue, Booker introduced legislation in April to launch a federal commission to study federal reparations for African Americans. Medicare-for-All Castro supports it in theory, although he has yet to lay out the specifics of what his plan would look like. He also supports the concept of a Green New Deal: We don't have to choose between protecting our planet and creating jobs.

Legal Weed Castro wants to legalize weed and regulate it. As a result, immigration enforcement is changing, and that triggers the need for Congress to address immigration reform again. There are many unresolved issues in U. But with new enforcement policies there is an immediate need to act so that an "enforcement only" policy doesn't hurt our economy, our agricultural businesses, our agricultural communities and the people in our agricultural workforce.

Unfortunately, somewhere around one-half of our agricultural workforce is reportedly undocumented. We in the agriculture industry have been working for over 20 years to find a way to create work authorization and visas for everyone in our workforce. We need our workforce. We need the people who have immigrated here and who have come here on a temporary basis to work.

We need immigration laws that protect our border, give our documents integrity, protect our economy and treat people fairly. We need to have a path to legalization for those undocumented people who have been here working and who have been good community members. We also need new and better ways for people to come from other countries to work temporarily on farms in the United States. Thank you to the people who work on our farms and in our packinghouses. We respect you and we respect what you contribute to our industry and our community. You are valuable members of our community. You are taxpayer property owners, business owners, have families, and you are an essential part of our agricultural industry.

Thank you for being part of our industry and helping to create a strong Washington State agriculture. Let us work together to achieve immigration reform that helps us all. The Department of Homeland Security released today a memo titled "Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest," broadening the scope of immigration enforcement activities. Click here to read the memo. Business is booming and neighborhoods are vibrant. Much of this, in large part, is because immigrants and refugees are setting down new roots and making vital contributions to grow our economy and workforce while strengthening communities across the state.

Immigrants have always been a driver of the American dream, from the founding of our nation to present day. Immigrants are an integral part of business growth in many ways. Eighteen percent of all businesses in Washington are owned by immigrants. More than 70 percent of immigrants are between the ages 18 and 64 — prime working age — and are 33 percent more likely to be actively employed compared to an aging U.

The education and skills of immigrants and refugees are becoming increasingly diverse. Since , there are now more high-skilled immigrants than low-skilled immigrants. Foreign-born adults age 25 or older hold college degrees from foreign universities at comparable rates to U.

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Immigrants are employed in many industries across the state, from farm work or leading innovations in software development and breakthroughs in biotech or research. A robust Washington economy relies on having enough workers to keep pace with demand. Yet worker shortages are present all across the state for many employers. With Congress failing to act on comprehensive immigration reform, agricultural employees are growing more dependent on the H-2A visa system. STEM science, technology, engineering and math industries will likely see , new jobs nationally through , but the current skills gap indicates there is one qualified worker for every 7.

This mismatch could dampen economic growth. Foreign-born Washington workers account for 24 percent of the STEM workforce, often bringing needed cultural competencies and linguistic skills desired by their employers. However, outdated immigration laws and caps on the number of available H1-B visas make it difficult for employers to recruit in-demand foreign-born workers.

International students attending universities here in Washington also find it hard to grow roots here. Rather than allowing them to contribute to our economy, current laws force them to leave and take their skills, innovative ideas and entrepreneurial business concepts with them. What we need is comprehensive immigration reform that reflects the needs of businesses, industries and the communities that immigrants contribute to.

The case for humane, common-sense immigration reform has never been more clear nor timely. Mike Gempler is executive director of the Washington Growers League. Published by the Partnership for a New American Economy. Local leaders call for immigration reform in National Day of Action with events across all 50 states. Seattle, WA -Today, local leaders from Washington came together for a Day of Action to showcase new research on immigration contributions in Washington and highlight the critical need for immigration reform.

The event marked the launch of the Reason for Reform campaign, an effort taking place in all 50 states today, sponsored by the Partnership for a New American Economy NAE. The Reason for Reform campaign brings together state business, civic, and cultural leaders to urge Congress to take action on immigration reform. Today's Seattle Day of Action event coincides with the release of a new research, including data on the foreign-born population in Washington, their tax contributions, their spending power, and their role in Washington's key industries as leaders and job creators.

Today, NAE is also launching a new mobile tool that lets users make a video telling their Reason for Reform. Videos will be sent directly to Congress. This study highlights the benefits of doing so and it's clear across economic, political and industry sectors that this issue must be addressed," Daudon continued. The Contributions of New Americans in Washington shows that immigrants make up Immigrants in Washington contribute to key industries such as computer systems design, agriculture, and tourism.

They make up nearly 18 percent of all entrepreneurs in the state, and play a large role in science, technology, engineering, and math STEM fields, a major component of U. As this study indicates agriculture in Washington is a growing sector, and desperately needs seasonal labor. We cannot allow an insufficient immigration system to limit the ability of Washington growers to harvest their crops. The Reason for Reform campaign is launching in all 50 states today to urge Congress to take action on immigration reform. More information can be found at www. The Partnership for a New American Economy brings together more than Republican, Democratic and Independent mayors and business leaders who support immigration reforms that will help create jobs for Americans today.

Partnership members understand that immigration is essential to maintaining the productive, diverse and flexible workforce that America needs to ensure prosperity over the coming generations. Learn more at www. Posted on Roll Call www. The plan is the work of Rick Swartz, founder of the National Immigration Forum and longstanding campaigner for left-right policy solutions on environmental, trade, tax and agricultural issues.

His proposal would give legal status and a path to citizenship to 1 to 1. It would also give green cards to about , high-skilled foreign workers and foreign students getting university degrees in the U. Comprehensive reform of the kind advocated last week by Clinton does not have much of a chance as long as Republicans dominate Congress.

And she has to know it, which is why her move was cynical — as well as politically very shrewd. The agenda she laid out in Nevada last week satisfies every item on the wish list of immigrant rights activists. Make no mistake: today not a single Republican candidate announced or potential is clearly or consistently supporting a path to citizenship — not one.

Jeb Bush, probably the most immigration-friendly of all the GOP candidates, who has backed off his previous advocacy of citizenship under criticism from right-wingers. Comprehensive reform plans have been introduced in Congress repeatedly since the last one was enacted in and they have all failed. The Senate passed a bipartisan bill in , but it was blocked in the House. And as long as Republicans run Congress, broad bills will continue to be blocked.

By holding out for comprehensive-or-nothing legislation, Democrats have successfully painted Republicans as anti-immigrant and have won favor with Hispanic voters. If Congress failed to act in , Clinton promised as president that she would make immigration law by executive order even more than Obama already has tried to do. Hers would be challenged on constitutional grounds, too, at least delaying any action on immigration. And Republicans do look bad. Party leaders promise incremental reform, but they persistently allow anti-reform conservatives block any action. If an incremental bill actually passed Congress, pro-reform Republicans would have triumphed over right-wing nativists in their party.

That would demonstrate that the GOP is not anti-Hispanic. The US would stop educating foreign students, then forcing them to leave once they graduate. The families of those waiting in legal immigration lines would be re-united. And partial solutions this year might lead to more comprehensive ones later. March 2, Contact your Congressional Representative to oppose mandatory E-Verify. Please contact your Congressional Representative to urge them not to support HB The E-Verify legislation is deeply problematic for our industry if it passes without a solution that addresses our current agricultural workforce and creates a new guest worker program to meet future needs.

The bill includes a month phase-in for the agriculture industry. There have also been discussions of exempting agriculture from this legislation. This is not something we can advocate for because such an exemption would be very detrimental to the agriculture industry. We must have a solution for our current workforce needs that would allow us to participate in an E-Verify program in the future. Our goal has never been to get an exemption but to achieve a solution for our workforce. Moreover, such an exemption would make agriculture an even greater target for enforcement measures.

It is incredibly important to weigh in with your members of Congress that providing agriculture with a solution must come before any mandatory E-Verify system is put in place. Talking points are copied below for your reference. We encourage you to contact your members of Congress, in particular members on the House Judiciary Committee, and let them know you oppose mandatory E-Verify void of a solution for agriculture. This is an all-hands-on-deck situation. If this bill passed it would be devastating to the industry. President Obama announces plans to act on immigration reform On June 30th, just over a year from the day that the U.

Senate passed their comprehensive immigration reform bill, S. The announcement was expected, as the President had previously announced he would give Congress a year from passage of the Senate bill to pass an immigration bill. The House failed to pass any immigration-related bill, although several did pass out of committee. The President stated that by the end of the summer he would take recommendations from the Attorney General and Department of Homeland Security on steps that can legally be taken within the limits of executive power. The President did state he would immediately begin moving enforcement resources from the interior to the borders.

Generally, the agriculture industry would benefit from any administrative action that reduces interior enforcement, allows undocumented persons more time or an easier process to gain legal status, or defers deportation actions against people who may be employed in agriculture. Senator Patty Murray spoke of the need to pass immigration reform legislation and spoke in favor of taking administrative actions to ease the pressure on agricultural employers and people caught in the dysfunction of the immigration system. An executive order from the President will not fix the many problems with our immigration system.

It might provide limited relief in some ways for the short term, but it would not be the long-term solution our industry and country needs. Only Congress can create new visas for the skilled and agricultural workers that our economy needs. Only Congress can provide for the timely reunification of long-separated families. And only Congress can establish a system under which undocumented immigrants can make themselves right with the law and begin to earn legal status.

We are profoundly disappointed that there has been no action over the past year, and WGL will continue to work for passage of a reform bill along with the many other agriculture organizations that have made this their top priority. In the meantime we want the federal government to enforce the law in a way that is respectful of perishable crop labor needs, as well as family unity, while still maintaining a high level of national security.

The legal dispute over President Barack Obama's unilateral decision to suspend deportations for people brought to the country illegally by their parents, known as "dreamers," has split the GOP and Democrats before. But on Wednesday the dispute threatened to end any lingering goodwill Democrats were inclined to extend toward GOP leaders, who just weeks earlier unveiled a set of immigration principles for overhauling the nation's broken system - and then said Obama needed to earn back the GOP's trust that he would enforce the law.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney weighed in from the podium, where he spoke of House leaders' interest in an immigration overhaul in the past tense. Carney said the GOP's legislation "runs contrary to our most deeply held values as Americans and asks law enforcement officials to treat these 'dreamers' the same way as they would treat those with criminal records. It doesn't require much to look at what House Republicans are doing today to question whether or not they're serious about moving forward on comprehensive immigration reform," he said. But GOP leaders said Congress needs to act to curb what they consider to be Obama's abuse of power on a broad scale.

Whether one believes in the merit of the end goal or not, this is not how the executive branch was intended by our founders to act. The House passed a bill on Wednesday that would authorize the House or the Senate to bring a civil lawsuit against the White House for executive overreach. Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement. Democrats backing an immigration overhaul were livid.

Luis V. It is time to provide an opportunity for legal residents of citizenship for those brought to this country as children through no fault of their own and no other place. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif. Steve King, R-Iowa, amendment that the House passed last year to override Obama's executive action to defer the deportations of dreamers. Lofgren also wondered why the House had not yet seen legislation reportedly in the works from Cantor and Judiciary Chairman Robert W.

Goodlatte, R-Va. Instead, we see these bills. Dennis contributed to this report. Boehner says his conference "by and large" backs the immigration outline the leadership presented in January at the GOP retreat, a poll of every House Republican conducted by CQ Roll Call found only 19 who would confirm their support. We surveyed Republican lawmakers' offices and combed through member statements to see if they supported the immigration principles, which include a pathway to legalization for illegal immigrants and a pathway to citizenship for children brought here illegally.

The tally found 19 backing leadership's standards, two more who said "possibly yes," 30 Republicans openly opposing the principles, 22 who refused to say and 25 who were undecided. Three others had nuanced responses. The other did not respond to calls or emails over a two-week period. Given the number of Republicans who declined to answer or wouldn't give a binary response, it's possible Republicans see support for the broadly worded principles as a proxy for supporting an immigration overhaul this year.

But with such a seeming dearth of support, the likelihood Republicans could move legislation - in this Congress or the next - seems bleak. Boehner and GOP leadership have already put an immigration overhaul on ice for now, blaming a lack of trust in President Barack Obama within the conference. But the threshold question remains: Are Republicans willing to support any broad immigration legislation along the lines of what GOP leadership laid out? Most lawmakers contacted by CQ Roll Call simply aren't ready to answer. The principles are not legislation, and because there is no set of bills codifying them, many Republicans declined to answer before leadership presents actual legislative text.

And that's not expected any time soon. A common refrain from Republicans was opposition to "amnesty," but how that politically toxic word in GOP circles is defined remains an essential question. Supporters of the principles say they are not equivalent to amnesty - people here illegally would pay fines and back taxes, among other provisions.

And under the House principles, those people would not have a "special" path to citizenship. But many immigration opponents charge that anything short of enforcing existing laws and requiring illegal immigrants to leave the country is amnesty - and that's a talking point that seems to have sticking power with the GOP. Michael C. Burgess said in a statement. Walter B. Jones told CQ Roll Call in a statement.

What our poll seemed to confirm was what reporters have heard from Republicans repeatedly: There are vocal minorities in the GOP on both sides of the immigration issue. In the middle is a large group of Republicans who could be swayed either way. But many of those same Republicans believe Obama can't be trusted to implement an immigration overhaul. Still, such a lackluster response from Republicans undermines Boehner's contention that a majority of his conference supports the immigration principles, which were written in a broad fashion so as to attract the most support possible.

There is a silver lining for people who want to see a broad measure passed - there are enough GOP votes to pass legislation, as long as almost every Democrat stays in the "yes" column. It's a tactic Boehner used to pass a clean debt ceiling hike, but he swears to his conference he has no interest in doing immigration in the same manner. Presented with the CQ Roll Call vote tally, Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said that what Boehner said remains the same: "House Republicans by and large support the immigration principles, but members - and the American people - simply don't trust that the Obama administration will implement any part of immigration reform it doesn't like or support.

For now, Republicans appear to have found cover by blaming Obama. But Democrats are already crying foul. A swath of Republicans said the principles and the immigration issue on the whole were "too complicated for a simple yes or no," as Georgia Rep. But, as Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte of Virginia said - and as Boehner has repeatedly affirmed - Republicans are only going to take up an immigration overhaul that is supported by a majority of House Republicans.

Goodlatte, notably, didn't give a yes or no answer on whether he supports leadership's principles. And as our tally suggests, leadership has a lot more work to do. Dennis and Warren Rojas. Additional research by intern Bridget Bowman. Now that the government shutdown has ended and political brinksmanship has taken its course, the question we and other Americans are asking is what, if anything, did Congress learn? Fortunately, there are voices in both parties already lining up behind finally passing comprehensive immigration reform.

More than Democrats have signed on to a bill in the House similar to one the Senate passed with strong bipartisan support earlier this summer. Republican representatives, including Rep. Dave Reichert, have argued for passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill this year. Earlier this month Rep. Our high tech industry is in a global competition struggling to attract innovative talent to our region even as Canadian marketing firms are posting billboards and ads boasting over how much simpler it can be for would-be immigrants to immigrate to our competition. Some may argue that trying to pass immigration reform now will be foolhardy, especially after the partisan rancor of the government shut down.

On the contrary, this is the best time to do it. This is a problem that must be solved now, there is broad bipartisan support for reform, and Congress must prove they can do something right. Sharing personal stories, they encouraged lawmakers to seek votes for reform on the House floor this year. Members of Congress themselves participated in more than meetings. Support also spread on social media, including more than 10, tweets so far this week at Ready4Reform , an effort that will continue as the House of Representatives decides how to proceed in coming days and weeks.

Humane and Pro-Growth: A Reason Guide to Immigration Reform by Brian Doherty

Republican members of Congress can take great encouragement in hearing that message from their conservative base. They can move forward knowing that they have unprecedented support from all corners. Chamber of Commerce. August 15, Posted on Washington State Wire www. In the midst of the August recess, as lawmakers are back on their home turf, the Washington Federation of State Employees and the Washington Growers League are making a Washington-state case for a federal immigration-reform bill.

In a conference call with reporters Wednesday, officials of the business and labor organizations argued that the measure, passed by the Senate in June, would make it easier for an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants to obtain citizenship — and thus begin generating the tax revenue to bolster Social Security, Medicare and other national programs. Of greatest interest at the Olympian level might be that it also would generate a significant amount of money for state coffers.

More money for state services, of course, translates to union jobs. And so a national argument, the center of a storm in Congress, touches down in Washington state, ever so briefly, during the five-week break in business in the other Washington. House members, particularly on the Republican side, are being lobbied hard by immigration-reform advocates, labor and other interests. So far one Republican member of the Washington delegation, Dave Reichert, has declared his support for the measure.

Senate Bill would ease hurdles for immigrants currently settled in the United States without legal status to make application while in this country. The measure passed the U. Senate June 27 by a vote of , but it is mired in the House for reasons that ought to sound mighty familiar to any follower of the Washington Legislature. It takes votes to pass a bill. But in the Republican-controlled U. Growers League Backs Bill Perhaps most interesting, politics-wise, is that the Washington Growers League, an influential Eastern Washington agribusiness association, is marching shoulder-to-shoulder with the Federation on immigration.

But Gempler said immigration reform is a common cause. And we are very eager to have a legal and stable workforce and to see that people that have been working in our industry enjoy the full rights of citizenship. We have one of the largest labor-intensive agricultural industries in our country here in Washington state. Tree fruit and vegetables, berries and flowers and other specialty crops are really a very thriving and large part of our economy. So the extent to which immigration reform helps stabilize our industry will pay tremendous benefits to our state as a whole.

Legal status will allow those who have settled in Washington state to fully participate in their communities and society — and get them paying their full share of the tax burden. Unsuccessful reform proposals of the last 10 years have all required employers to use E-Verify, a voluntary system that allows employers to check immigration status that employees provide on I-9 forms. It will be a more controlled situation, and a more fair situation, one in which we welcome people to our country in a more controlled manner that really reflects economic and immigration realities.

They noted that the immigrant population is typically younger, meaning an influx of taxpayers who might buttress the system. The contributions would be sufficient to support 2. Amy Biviano of the Main Street Alliance, a progressive small-business lobbying organization, pointed to the money that might be generated for state services, thorough sales, business and occupations and sales taxes.

Reichert, of East King County, is the only member to declare support for the Senate bill. August 6, Published in the Equal Voice Wash. The money, the think tank said, would go to pay for benefits for the millions of people who are in the country and lack documents. As The Associated Press reported, elected officials and analysts criticized the report, which has the support of groups that want lower taxes.

The Congressional Budget Office, which is nonpartisan, found that the U. In its study, the Washington Compact talked about immigrants with different backgrounds. Many undocumented immigrants fill low-paying low-skilled positions, whereas legal workers who do not fear apprehension or deportation can work in more suitable and productive occupations.

While the Senate has approved its immigration bill, lawmakers in the U. House have yet to vote on the topic. Instead of considering one immigration bill, lawmakers in the House are considering several pieces of legislation that address the topic. The GOP choice: A party of opportunity or closed borders?

Today the House Republicans will meet behind closed doors in a therapy session that could decide the fate of immigration reform. This will be raucous and maybe enlightening. The GOP is splintered and confused on immigration, and this has left the party with no coherent or winning message. Too often Americans hear the shrillest anti-immigration Republicans whose only argument is "secure the border," as if that is a sensible policy for the 21st century. House Speaker John Boehner's job is to make sure those voices don't carry the day.

He and his colleagues face a fundamental choice: kill immigration reform, or try to pass constructive and pro-growth measures that have broad public and business support, including from millions of conservatives. The first option would be a policy blunder and perhaps a political disaster. The Republican-led House has tried to sell itself as a party of solutions. To fail to fix any part of an immigration system that everyone agrees is contrary to U. Nearly as unproductive would be merely to pass another border-security bill as the GOP did in That would allow the legal immigration system to grow more unworkable by the day.

The good news is that there is. Even if the House doesn't want to take up the entire bill that recently passed the Senate, it can still consider and pass the parts that are pro-growth and that most Republicans support. These include a provision to allow foreign graduates of U. Even Mitt Romney supported this one. Another provision would double the number of H-1B visas for skilled immigrants, while a third would allow visas to those who will start businesses and invest in America. These reforms are vital to U. Republicans should also vote to codify the Dream Act, which would allow some two million immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children to become legal residents and eventually citizens.

President Obama has issued an executive order toward this goal, but Republicans can make it permanent and get some credit for a policy that is the essence of compassionate conservatism. This could be strategically paired with guest-worker programs for agriculture and other workers, as well as speeding up green cards for those who have been waiting lawfully in line for years to become Americans.

History proves without question that the best way to reduce illegal immigration is by opening more paths for legal immigrants to meet U. Border security alone won't work. Almost all Republicans in the House insist they support legal immigration. It's time to prove that with some votes. House GOP leaders say they aren't sure they have the votes to pass these measures. They thus may need Democratic votes, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi may command her troops to vote no on anything but the Senate bill.

Let them. If Silicon Valley Democrats want to vote against high-tech visas, that's their choice. If the Hispanic caucus wants to vote down the Dream Act and more farm workers, then so be it. Democrats can then take responsibility if these measures fail. Republicans should also be willing to debate and vote on the issue of legalizing 11 million illegal immigrants. We support this path to citizenship, and many House Republicans also claim to support it eventually, someday, just not as in the Senate bill.

Boehner should challenge his Members to come up with the terms they would support, because the alternative is "self-deportation" that isn't going to happen. The dumbest strategy is to follow the Steve King anti-immigration caucus and simply let the Senate bill die while further militarizing the border. This may please the loudest voices on talk radio, but it ignores the millions of evangelical Christians, Catholic conservatives, business owners and free-marketers who support reform.

The GOP can support a true conservative opportunity society or become a party of closed minds and borders. A version of this article appeared July 10, , on page A12 in the U. Any legislation that runs 1, pages is almost by definition flawed, and the immigration reform that passed the Senate late last week is no exception. The bill would nonetheless improve America's ability to legally attract more of the world's human talent, and the Republican-run House now has a chance to make it better. This is not our preferred reform, which would focus entirely on easing the way for more people to come legally.

Immigrants flock to the U. The Senate's enforcement provisions are an example of wretched excess, a case of the Republican Party letting its blood-and-soil wing trump its supposedly free-market principles. Even if the border is militarized to the point that no Mexican can get through, immigrants will find other ways to enter. The Senate's answer is to mandate an E-Verify program for all employers to vet new workers, and to further criminalize employers who hire illegals. Employers are willing to go along with this because the status quo of ICE raids and worker shortages is often worse.

But it's certainly a spectacle to see Republicans who claim to be champions of business insisting that the act of hiring a willing worker who turns out to be illegal ought to be punished like a felony. Like every government program, E-Verify has also had a flawed rollout with many false IDs. The bill would be better without all of this enforcement overkill. These include an uncapped number of green cards for graduates of U.

So if you are a Stanford biologist with an offer from Genentech, you don't have to return to Bangalore or London and start your own company there. This will help keep the U. The Senate bill also moves the U. Siblings of U. Country quotas that failed to account for population or education are also lifted. Instead the bill creates more guest-worker visas to fill shortages in the U. The new farm-worker program is a particular improvement over the current mess, allowing a largely bureaucratic-free process up to , visas a year with a cap for the first five years of , That annual quota is still far too low given the extensive needs of U.

The status quo without reform will mean more labor shortages that force American farmers to stop growing some crops or move even more production overseas. The same Republicans and union Democrats who cry "sovereignty" to oppose immigration don't seem to mind if their policies result in more imported food. The annual visa quota for skilled H-1B workers increases to , at first and as much as , from 65,, though here again the limit is still too low and too encumbered by Department of Labor discretion.

The same goes for the new guest-worker program for unskilled, nonfarm workers, which starts at a ridiculous 20, visas, rising to 75, after four years to a cap of , The nationwide quota for construction is 15, and can't grow. Raising these visa quotas, and stripping away the Labor Department's increased power to set wages and complicate business hiring are areas where the House GOP could improve reform. This would also be the best immigration enforcement policy because more legal ways to enter the U. Which brings us to the "path to citizenship" for the estimated 11 million illegal residents already living in the U.

The question restrictionists don't like to answer is what is their alternative? As Florida Republican Marco Rubio says, current law is itself a form of amnesty because no one thinks those already here will leave or be deported. Some on the right continue to indulge the Mitt Romney fantasy that if the government raids enough businesses, illegals will "self-deport" for lack of opportunity. But if those workers haven't gone home during the last five years of recession and slow growth, they aren't likely to in the future.

Meanwhile, legalization would make it easier for those workers to change jobs and thus help the economy by better matching skills with opportunities. Pessimists say it won't pass, and we'll take up the political objections another day. But the reason to support immigration reform is less about political advantage than because it is good for the country.

It is by far the most pro-growth policy of the Obama era, and especially in this Presidency a growth opportunity is a terrible thing to waste. A version of this article appeared July 3, , on page A14 in the U. July 1, Published in the Wall Street Journal A Republican Case for Immigration Reform While the Senate bill can be improved, it would welcome more skilled workers and lead to faster economic growth.

Here the GOP's informal "Hastert Rule" requires Speaker John Boehner to have majority support among Republicans before he will bring legislation to the floor for a vote. That means an immigration bill will need a far greater share of Republican House members than the Senate version received where fewer than one-third of Republicans voted "aye".

This is a tall order. But it is one to which House Republicans should respond. No Republican would vote for legislation that stifled economic growth, promoted illegal immigration, added to the welfare rolls, and failed to ensure a secure border. Yet they essentially will do just that if they fail to pass comprehensive immigration reform—and leave in place a system that does all of those things. To grow economically, the nation needs more young workers, as the population is aging and its growth is slowing.

Nearly two-thirds go to relatives of existing residents, under an expansive definition of family preferences that includes not just spouses and minor children but parents, siblings and unmarried adult children. Family preferences crowd out the work-based immigration this country needs. In particular, America's educational system produces only a fraction of the high-skilled workers required for technology jobs.

Many return home or go on to other countries with more sensible immigration policies. Canada has one-tenth of our population—yet it issues far more high-skilled visas more than , yearly than we do 65, Illegal immigration results now because there are too few lawful low-skill job opportunities for immigrants. But in both high- and low-skilled industries, the actual alternative to importing workers is not hiring more Americans but exporting jobs. Today, working-age immigrants contribute to the economy and more to social services than they consume.

America needs more of them. The Senate immigration reform addresses most of the flaws of the current system. It reduces family preferences, increases the number of high-skilled visas, expands guest-worker programs, and creates a merit-based immigration system for people who want to pursue the American dream. It also offers a path to citizenship for those who were brought here illegally as children, and dramatically increases resources and tools for border security.

The bill also invites people who came here illegally to come out of the shadows through a provisional resident status. It does not provide an amnesty, that is, a pardon. The Senate bill creates a year probation during which those who came illegally must pay a series of fines and back taxes, undergo background checks, are ineligible for most social services, and must work continuously. Overall, the bill satisfies a criterion that is essential to the rule of law: It makes it easier to immigrate legally than illegally. In short, it advances Republican economic growth objectives.

Still, the House can make several important improvements. These include clearer and more objective border security "triggers" to assure that the flow of illegal immigrants has been curbed, and a stronger E-Verify system to ensure that only people who are here legally are working.

The House also can create more opportunities for work-based immigration by limiting family preferences to spouses and minor children, as most other countries do. Importantly, the House can increase the artificially low guest-worker numbers included at the behest of labor unions in the Senate bill. The best antidote to illegal immigration in the future is a functioning system that allows workers to come and go legally. Moreover, the House should beef up civics education requirements for new citizens.

Currently, immigrants need answer only six of 10 civics questions correctly to qualify.

New citizens should be required not only to learn English but to fully understand the nature and workings of our democratic and free-enterprise systems. The necessary overhaul of the immigration system cannot be achieved piecemeal. The most important changes—reducing family preferences, creating a robust guest-worker program, and increasing border security—cannot be enacted with Republican votes alone. That means compromise and a comprehensive approach—or the perpetuation of the status quo that has all of the detriments of amnesty without any of the economic benefits of reform.

Such reform is commended by both sound policy and principle. And it will also earn goodwill among citizens of Hispanic and Asian descent. Fifty thousand Hispanics turn 18 and become eligible to vote every month. Immigration is not the only issue on which Hispanics or Asians vote. But it is a gateway issue. Republicans have much in common with immigrants—beliefs in hard work, enterprise, family, education, patriotism and faith.

But for their voice to penetrate the gateway, Republicans need to cease being the obstacle to immigration reform and instead point the way toward the solution. Bush is the former Republican governor of Florida. Bolick is the vice president for litigation at the Goldwater Institute. A version of this article appeared July 1, , on page A15 in the U. Immigration Reform Implications for California Agriculture. Click here to view a pdf that includes Figures 1, 2 and 3 as referenced in the text below. Congress is considering immigration reform. California farmers hope that a plan to legalize currently unauthorized workers and make it easier for them to hire guest workers in the future will be enacted.

The legalization and guest worker proposals being considered should not increase farm labor costs significantly. There were over 40 million foreign-born U. The United States has been debating what to do about these unauthorized foreigners for the past decade, and in April a bipartisan group of eight senators introduced the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act S The Senate is expected to vote on S in June S would also change the mix of legal immigrants.

S would add , immigrant visas a year distributed on merit or economic grounds and eliminate some family visas, raising the economic share of immigrants.