California Assemblyman Tim Donnelly Speaks out on Broken Immigration System

Tim DonnellyRecently, California State Assemblyman (equivalent of a Texas State House Legislator), Tim Donnelly spoke on the floor about our broken immigration system and the need for immigration reform and stronger border security. Donnelly is a Republican legislator from Twin Peaks, California, located in the mountains east of the Los Angeles area. "We have a system," Donnelly began, "that is broken, that is highly dysfunctional."

Note: Assemblyman Donnelly is currently running for the Republican nomination for the office of Governor of California.

"We should address border security," Donnelly stated. "That is a serious threat to our state more than any others. The threat is not from individuals crossing to get a better life. The threat are those who cross hidden among them, those who traffic people into the field, those who traffic minors into the sex trade, selling their parents on a lie that they will somehow be working in a hotel or a restaurant and sending money home, instead they're raped repeatedly the first day and then that becomes their occupation. This bill does not address that. Any bill, any resolution that does no address the serious concerns of border security will never have my support because I will not do anything to further imperil the innocent."

Donnelly was speaking on the California House floor during a debate on California Assembly Joint Resolution 3. He spoke and voted against the resolution which passed the House by a vote of 57-3 and the California Senate 28-1. 

"I think we have to understand and actually acknowledge," Donnelly continued, "that a system that allows people to come here and get a PhD and kicks them out before they can create any jobs and help us return that investment is a broken system. A system that allows human beings to be trafficked into our fields and sold into indentured servitude is something that every one of us should unit against.

"We also have an issue of labor, and that's where I think we have the broadest agreement on the issue of labor. We acknowledge that many of the immigrants who come here, even though they've crossed here illegally, are extremely hard working, and in almost every other way, they're very admirable people who are just desperately fleeing the breakdown of their own country. What I would say there is that we need to take into account the economic interest. You have 3 million people out of work, you need to tread very carefully before you open up the floodgates and bring in more labor because that is a concern, and I haven't heard anyone here address the concerns of those Americans who are out of work. Those Californians who have given up looking for work that might take a job at a construction site if they weren't pushed aside for somebody who will work for less. So I think there is a lot of work we can do there.

"At the same time, with individuals who are fleeing the breakdown of the rule of law, we would be remiss if we undermined the rule of law with our reforms, so the last thing I would say is we do need a pathway to citizenship, but we have a pathway to citizenship. We have a process, and the one question there, really, is up to those who have come here illegally. Do you just want to work? Do you just want to be able to provide for your family? Or do you truly want to go through the arduous process that we have right now to become a citizen, and if you say you want the former, most of us would endorse a guest worker program with certain restrictions. But if you say you want the latter, and you want to become a citizen, and you're willing to enter that long, arduous journey to becoming an American, not only would I support making that process easier and streamlining it, but I would sponsor you because we want you here.

"This is a great country, and you can make it greater, but we need to be careful that our reform does not undermine that which we say we truly want to protect, and that is a republic that is ruled by law and not by man."

Donnelly's statement on the California House floor addresses several issues that are broken in our current system and need to be resolved. Those being; border security, human trafficking, a sustainable workforce, economic development, a guest worker program and fixing a broken immigration system.

While I may not agree entirely with Donnelly's positions, his discussion represents a solid starting point to having a reasonable discussion that could lead to true reform and a resolution to several problems that have been facing our nation for decades.

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