End the humanitarian crisis at the border.

At a time when some are hellbent on rewriting the words on the Statue of Liberty, we have a responsibility to honoring the San Fernando Valley’s history of welcoming and fighting for the rights of immigrants. 

It says a lot about the troubling times we live in when we need to point this out: Brian is categorically opposed to locking up people, including children, in concentration camps at our borders and anywhere else. Cruelty cannot be the de facto shortcut for dealing with difficult problems. We cannot expect people to go through the legal pathways when the systems that our ancestors went through no longer exist. Broken systems can not be the dividing line between generations of immigrants that want better for themselves.

The DACA program and the Dream Act are starting points. We need to look compassionately on what it means to be a citizen. Birthright citizenship was one of the best ideas to come out of the 19th century and it’s one-sentence right is something that needs to be fiercely defended and expanded upon. Simply put, those who are born within the United States are American citizens. The ideas that came out of this era, along with the abolishment of slavery and expanding the right to vote, are considered by many to be “America’s Second Founding.”

If we were to embark on a third founding for our country, we need to do away with this gatekeeping mentality of who’s an American and who’s not. Anyone who wants to come into this country and contribute to its prosperity should have the opportunity to do so. After all, the United States is made up of indigenous populations, immigrants, and those who were brought here against their will – it’s hypocritical and counterproductive to decide now that we need to rein in our national identity. The best thing we can do is allow our diversity to be our strength and stand up to the injustice that routinely plagues our immigration policy.