June 12, 2018

New Dems Celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month

America was built by immigrants, seeking a better life for themselves and their families. Every day, all over the country, immigrants are growing businesses, innovating, strengthening our economy, and creating American jobs. Unfortunately their contributions to our nation are too often overlooked and undervalued. New Democrat Coalition Members are proud to come together to celebrate immigrants, especially during Immigrant Heritage Month.

Most Americans have immigrant stories. Whether your family came to the U.S. one year or one hundred years ago, we all have an immigrant heritage that helped shape who we are. Immigrants have contributed to the extraordinary character of our nation and often made great sacrifices to be here. In fact, one in eight Americans is an immigrant and one in nine U.S.-born Americans has at least one immigrant parent. We know that this incredible diversity makes America stronger.

Some New Dem Members are proud to celebrate their own immigrant heritage, standing in solidarity with other immigrant Americans who are pursuing the American Dream — despite hardship, discrimination, and harassment. Last week, Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Rep. Don Beyer (VA-08), and Rep. Anthony Brown(MD-04) all shared pieces of their own stories on social media. Other New Dem Members are equally proud to share the immigration stories of their parents, grandparents, and ancestors, such as Rep. Denny Heck (WA-10), Rep. Charlie Crist (FL-13), Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02), Rep. Brad Schneider(IL-10), and Rep. Mike Quigley (IL-05).

New Dems have been leading the charge for immigration reform because turning immigrants away makes no sense, on moral or economic grounds. Immigrants contribute billions of dollars in taxes and to the U.S. economy, integrating into all sectors. While many arrive in the U.S. fleeing persecution, violence, or limited economic opportunity, there are also nearly 690,000 DREAMers who were brought to the U.S. as children, waiting for a clear process through which they can apply for citizenship.

Many immigrants serve our country through military service, as Rep. Marc Veasey (TX-33) drew attention to with recently introduced amendments to the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act. It’s outrageous that even those immigrants who are veterans can be subject to deportation. He writes, “President Donald Trump needs to remember this: Immigrants are the bedrock of this country. They are what truly makes America great, and attempting to abolish their patriotism and demoralize the communities that established this country will only impede progress.”

America has always been a great land of hopes, dreams, and freedom — and we must fight to keep it that way. Current policies make immigration an expensive and lengthy process that keeps people waiting in limbo, while keeping undocumented immigrants living in constant fear of being separated from their families, detained, or deported. It is beyond time that we fix our nation’s broken immigration system.

New Dems demand change now. Members joined together to support a new bipartisan petition that would force a vote to provide certainty for Dreamers.

“It’s time for the House of Representatives to step up and do its job by debating and voting on a DACA solution. For our communities, our economy, and to be on the right side of history, we must vote to protect the futures of Dreamers,” said New Democrat Coalition Chair Rep. Jim Himes.

By:  New Democrat Coalition