Amidst the partisan back and forth on the issue of immigration reform and border security, Democratic Congressman Morgan Johnson offers these thoughts for what would make a proposal he would consider ideal to support:
"I have not been able to commit to either party's "official" bill on immigration reform and border security, because, while both proposals have helpful elements to them, it would be even better to combine the most helpful aspects into one bill, and to add other vital provisions.
Fundamentally, a comprehensive bill must include a permanent DACA resolution and guard against the danger of families being separated at the border. The provision of temporary visa for agricultural work is also a high priority. At the same time, e-verify is absolutely necessary to prevent businesses from taking advantages of illegal, low-cost labor.
In addition, more attention needs to be paid to the problem of individuals who overstay their visas. In recent years that has been a greater source of illegal immigration than border crossings. Therefore, a system of biometric visas needs to be implemented, which can also be linked to e-verify.
I have a great concern for the status of refugees in the world, particularly in areas where religious minorities, often Christian minorities, have been terrorized, and sometimes as an indirect result of our own actions (for example the displacement of Christians in Iraq after the end of the second Gulf War). For that reason I am calling for an increase in the number of refugees permitted to stay in this country, subject, of course, to the appropriate vetting.
I am more flexible on the issues of the diversity lottery for visas and the increase of physical barriers on the southern border, as well as to how we finance a bill.
It is my hope that both parties can come together on a plan to reduce illegal immigration and to act in the best traditions of our country's welcoming legitimate immigrants and refugees."