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Commonsense Immigration Reform

We are a nation of immigrants. Our diversity is what makes us stronger as a country. We come from all walks of life and our descendants are those who came to the United States in search of a better life. Throughout our history, our nation has succeeded because it's built on the American Dream; no matter who you are or where you’re from, if you’re determined and work hard, you can get ahead.

I’m fed up with our leaders in Washington—Donald Trump and his enablers in Congress like Rep. Lee Zeldin— who are stoking fears and dividing us, rather than bringing us together. Immigration reform should be a real priority, not just a foil used to cry out for Trump’s unnecessary and impractical border wall. The current practice in Washington of breaking up families is cruel and must be stopped. The visuals of immigrant babies still nursing being separated from their moms is unacceptable.

Our immigration system is broken. It’s time someone in Congress rolled up their sleeves and got to work. Our path forward on immigration reform must focus on keeping families together, being tough on security, and implementing policies that grow our economy and create jobs.

We need a tough but fair path to earned citizenship for those who work hard and play by the rules. We do better when our hard-working, talented immigrants can stay together as a family to contribute to the success of our country. I support a clean Dream Act because these young people grew up in the United States, they are positive contributors to our economy, and they should have a path to permanent residency and eventually citizenship. Members of both parties agree that hard-working people should be able to contribute fully to the country they have built their lives in.

Not only must we focus on a responsible pathway to citizenship, we must also allocate resources for law enforcement to prevent threats. On our southern border, this includes resources like intelligence-gathering devices, personnel, and information sharing methods that help the U.S. and Mexico stop drugs and weapons from being trafficked on the border. On Long Island, we will combat the dangerous threat of MS-13 by providing more resources for law enforcement to eliminate gang violence and investing in social services programs that prevent gang involvement. Countless Long Islanders have died at the hands of this gang. We must take bold action to stop MS-13 from taking more innocent lives.

Finally, we must focus on growing our economy and creating jobs. Economic inequities in other countries cause individuals to seek economic stability in the United States, making it imperative to pursue trade policies that level the playing field for workers abroad so that livable wages are available to those citizens. This allows us to invest in jobs right here at home. When those jobs come home, we must hold businesses that traffic in illegal immigration accountable. Additionally, immigrants who are already here should pay their fair share of taxes and continue the good work they have been doing.

We must remember immigrants are a vibrant part of our communities. I’m rooted in lasting, practical and comprehensive policies that respect the rule of law. It’s time to act.

“It's time Long Island had a strong voice to fight for high-paying jobs, affordable health care, high-quality education and clean air and water.”Perry GershonCandidate for Congress, NY-1