The United States takes great pride in being a nation of immigrants. Since our founding, the men and women who have come to this country from around the world have been integral to our society, bringing skills and talents that help ensure we remain competitive in a global economy.
Immigration is fundamentally a question of talent, and any attempt to improve our broken immigration system should strive to attract and retain the most talented people in the world who will help build a 21st century economy.
I was proud to join a majority of my Senate colleagues to pass a historic comprehensive immigration reform package in 2013, as well as speak about its importance in Spanish on the Senate floor. I encourage the House of Representatives to take action on immigration reform so we can finally fix our broken system and give millions of families an earned pathway to citizenship.
I also support efforts to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) programs. Since DACA was announced in 2012, the program has offered temporary relief from deportation to over 660,000 immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as young children, including nearly 10,000 who call Virginia home.
For far too long, our immigration system has placed undue burdens on legal immigrants and kept millions of others living in the shadows of our society. I support a bipartisan approach to immigration reform that will provide a better visa system to encourage growth of a talented workforce, enhance our border security, create a path to normalizing the legal status of those here unlawfully - following compliance with various requirements such as payment of taxes and a fine - and establish a better system for companies to verify the immigration status of their employees.
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