Rep. James A. Himes (D-CT)

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Our dysfunctional immigration policy is shameful, and we must enact comprehensive reform in the next Congress.

Today, our borders are not secure and we have 12 million undocumented workers living in the shadows.

Jim believes that we must secure our borders so that we can monitor and control who is coming into our country. But Jim also realizes that stemming the tide of illegal immigration will take more than increased vigilance at our borders.

First, we must crack down on employers who violate our immigration and employment laws, undermining working conditions for all Americans. These employers fuel illegal immigration by encouraging people seeking economic opportunity to enter our country illegally. Second, Jim believes that we can make a real dent in illegal immigration by assisting in the vigorous economic development of Latin America. With his background and experience - born to American parents in Peru, spending his first ten years in Latin America, and specializing in Latin American markets as a banker - Jim will be a real leader on these issues in Congress.

In addition, comprehensive immigration reform must include a practical and humane approach to the 12 million undocumented immigrants who either entered our country illegally or who overstayed their visas. The most viable way to encourage undocumented workers to come out of the shadows is to offer an earned path to citizenship. Specifically, Jim believes that law-abiding, hardworking, and tax-paying immigrants should be assessed a meaningful penalty for breaking our immigration laws, and should then be allowed to go to the "back of the line" for citizenship.

Jim vigorously opposes Chris Shays’ proposed solution to the immigration crisis, a "blue card" program that would combine the worst of all available options. Shays’ plan would impose no penalty on people who came here illegally, but create a permanent immigrant worker underclass who would forever be denied the hope of citizenship. Jim strongly believes that a two-tiered society is not what our founding fathers had in mind, and is not in the long-term interests of our country.

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