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Immigration should be accomplished through the legal process. Illegal immigration is not a sustainable process for allowing immigrants into the country. Those seeking asylum should be vetted through the current process and allowed entry if they are fleeing from grave humanitarian issues in their home country which leads to a “credible fear” of persecution.

Currently, the issue facing our nation’s immigration system is that we do not have the proper infrastructure and support staff to make court proceedings on current laws function effectively. This results in long detention periods which we can all agree are inhumane and not family oriented. There must be more judges, counsel for immigrants, staff for proceedings and hearings, and community-based alternatives to detention centers for those who are not considered a threat to society and national security.

Current immigration laws do not provide U.S. citizens or employers with a viable pathway to sponsor their undocumented family members or workers for lawful permanent residence, even if they would otherwise be eligible for a green card, if those individuals entered the United States without inspection and are still living in the country. Undocumented immigrants must first leave the country and apply for an immigrant visa at a consulate abroad. But once they leave, they face a lengthy ban on returning due to a cruel Catch-22 law put in place in 1996 that subjects anyone who was in the United States without legal immigration status for more than six months to a reentry bar of three or 10 years. This makes getting a green card effectively impossible for millions of people who should have a legal pathway to do so.

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