Republicans are wrong to use immigration as a political tool

So many immigrants from across the Pacific Ocean have come to the United States in search of a better life. Despite their struggles, Asian immigrants have contributed to building the very cornerstones of this country, and today they are essential to the growth of the nation’s economy. They play a vital role in the American economy — they own small businesses, work in technology and infrastructure, and contribute to every part of the American way of life.

It is so sad to hear stories of families torn apart by our broken immigration system. In my district alone, there are hundreds of Asian immigrants seeking relief — many of whom have no other place to call home than the U.S. This is an issue that needs to be put at the very forefront of American politics.

Everyone who comes to our country deserves a fair shot at the American Dream — an opportunity to build their life, get an education and work in a job that pays fair wages.

San Francisco is the perfect example of a vibrant city built by millions of immigrants, all from different ethnicities and cultures, in pursuit of the American Dream. That is why President Barack Obama has taken action to work on a comprehensive solution to fix our broken immigration system and lift up the 11 million people in our country who are living in the shadows.

Rand Paul was in San Francisco on May 9. He often argues that he’s a “different” kind of Republican. But frankly, he’s not. Rand Paul wants to end the president’s commonsense deportation relief that keeps families together. He joined with reckless Republicans and threatened to shut down the government to stop this important policy. Rand Paul even proposed a bill that would end birthright citizenship and gut the 14th Amendment.

Rand Paul’s actions make it clear that he is just another Republican who wants to take the country backwards. Along with the rest of the Republican presidential hopefuls like Jeb Bush, Scott Walker and Marco Rubio, he is part of the problem and has no solutions — a quality that has come to define the 2016 Republican field.

While Democrats are committed to fixing our broken immigration system by passing comprehensive reform and ensuring Asian immigrants have a fair shot in our country, Republicans choose to stand against progress by continuing the cruel system of deportations that tear families apart. It is no surprise that Republicans want to obstruct real progress for this country, but letting immigrant families become collateral damage in their political fight is a step too far.

Rep. Judy Chu is a Democrat representing California’s 27th District in Congress and the Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

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