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The American dream is what my parents sought for themselves and for their children, just as many others do, to have a better life and to contribute to this beautiful nation we call home. As a daughter of immigrants from Mexico and with family members who are DACA recipients, seeing the deportation of hard-working and peaceful families hits home for me– it continues to breakdown communities and undermines who we are as Americans.

As a member of the Homeland Security Committee, I am focused on national security measures that make us safer. Not on ways to further divide us. The type of wall proposed by President Trump is a boondoggle that will do nothing to stop drug cartels or terrorists. Instead, our energy should be redirected to reforming our anachronistic immigration policies so that it addresses the needs of the country.

Nearly 200,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients live in California, where they have gone to college, taken out mortgages and started businesses. Immigrants are an integral part of the California workforce in a range of occupations, and they have contributed tens of billions of dollars in taxes. They do not deserve to live in fear and uncertainty with the threat of exile hanging over their head. We must honor our promise to beneficiaries of the DACA program who are American in every way except by their passport.

In America, we believe that individuals write their own destiny, and we provide people the tools to become their best selves. Giving DREAMers a permanent path to citizenship is the tool they need, and one that I have been relentlessly fighting for in Congress. Ultimately, we must address the immigration status of DREAMer’s parents too. We should approach immigration laws in a fair and humane way, consistent with our values. As workers, business owners, taxpayers, family members, and neighbors, immigrants are an integral part of California’s diverse and thriving communities and make extensive contributions that benefit all.