Nearly all of us are the descendants of immigrants. For some, as in the case of my grandfather, America has offered a place of harbor and repair for those ancestors who were fleeing from oppression or threat of death.  My grandfather was going to be forced by the Turkish government to fight against his own family members in Greece.  As such, he left at the age of 14 for the United States in the steerage section of the Queen Mary.  He learned English and eventually bought a small grocery store and the home above it in Pontiac, Michigan where he worked and lived for four decades.

Yes, we are living in a dramatically changed world from this time.  But unfortunately, our current immigration policies deny safety, security, and the American dream to too many who come to peacefully seek it out—seekers just like my grandfather and nearly all of our forefathers.

The number of ‘migrants’ in the US today is far from what it was during its historical peak during the Bush administration. Despite this, most of us still agree that our federal immigration policy is in need of comprehensive reform. We all know that something is wrong. As Californians, we believe in the essential philosophies of human rights, and share the values penned in the first lines of the Declaration of Independence.

I believe in protecting the rights and hard work of all Californians. To that end, when I am elected, I will support our state legislature in urging the reforms outlined in California Senate Joint Resolution No-2 (2021-2022), which implore the Biden administration to pass “comprehensive immigration reform guided by empathy, inclusion, and opportunity…”

Californians work hard, it is a part of our identity in which we all take pride. It is also true that our state would not be nearly as beautiful or wealthy, but for the hard work of past immigrants and currently undocumented workers. It is the right thing to do to update our antiquated immigration policies, in order to provide these vulnerable families fairness and equal protection under the law.