JOE DEHN FOR CONGRESS
Issue: Immigration

JOE DEHN FOR CONGRESS

 
District 17
California

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Joe Dehn for Congress
PO Box 20372
Stanford, CA 94309

Issue: Immigration

The Declaration of Independence famously proclaims that "all men are created equal". It doesn't say "people born in the United States have more rights than other people".

This has always been a nation of immigrants. People born in other parts of the world have contributed their energy and culture to make America what it is today. Almost everyone living here now is either an immigrant or a descendant of immigrants.

Most politicans today are uncomfortable with immigration. They don't all talk about it using the same language, but they all agree that it needs to be controlled. They have forgotten that bold claim "created equal" that was such a central feature of the document on which this country was founded.

They have also forgotten the basic idea of democracy, a principle that many of them claim to consider more important even than liberty – that it should be the people living in a geographic area who get to decide who governns them, and how. Allowing the government to decide who can live where is turning that idea on its head! And the government has not, in fact, managed to prevent immigration – what it has done, instead, is brand a large number of human beings as "illegal" or "undocumented", without the rights of the rest of the population, against whom discrimination is not only legal but required. No democracy can survive with such a large and growing population of disenfranchised subjects.

As a Libertarian, I respect the rights of all people, no matter where they were born. The right to move about and seek a better life for oneself and one's family is a fundamental right. I look forward to a day when all the present restrictions are gone. I don't expect that to happen immediately, but it should be our goal.

In the meantime, I support the following common-sense reforms:

  • Eliminate all caps on "H-1B" and similar visas. People with the education and skills to be attractive to employers are exactly the sort of people we should be happy to have come here and stay here – it's crazy to keep them out.
  • Allow anyone who has been living in the U.S. for at least five years, and who hasn't committed a serious crime against some actual victim, to become a citizen. The current system that forces millions of people who are just trying to live peaceful lives to stay in hiding for decades and without the prospect of becoming full members of our political and economic community is an outrage to the very idea of a democratic society.
  • Privatize "refugee" and "asylum" immigration. Americans are generous people, and many want to help save people suffering from war and other troubles in other countries. But there are hundreds of millions of people all around the world who might be deserving of such help, and it's not the business of the U.S. government to decide which of them should be saved and which not. It's also not right to force taxpayers to pay for bringing such people here and supporting them once they get here. Instead, let's allow private charities, other organizations, and individual Americans to make those choices and to support those choices voluntarily with their own funds.
  • Dismantle the apparatus that has been built up over the years to hunt down and persecute immigrants whose only "crime" is not having the government's permission to live and work here.
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Joe Dehn for Congress, PO Box 20372, Stanford, CA 94309