Alex Padilla may be a newcomer to the U.S. Senate, as he has only been in office for a mere four months, but he has already made a big push for immigration. California’s first Latino senator has spoken out about the way immigration is handled in this country.
Padilla has not faced an election yet since he was appointed in January by Gov. Gavin Newsom to fill out the Senate term of Vice President Kamala Harris. Padilla’s approach to governing involves expanding education for non-English speakers, fighting climate change, increasing gun safety, and building healthier communities.
On the latest episode of the “California State of Mind” podcast, Padilla was the guest. He expressed home for an immigration reform bill. Our country has the highest population of immigrants over any country in the world, but our immigration laws are complex and outdated.
In order to get legal immigration help in Los Angeles, immigrants must spend thousands of dollars, and they often have to wait for over a decade for their applications to be processed. For many, it’s easier to cross the border illegally than to wait for the lengthy and complicated process.
Part of the reason there’s been little movement to modernize the country’s immigration system is due to the contention between the Democratic and Republican parties. This issue was worsened when Obama was elected, and the divide between the two parties got even deeper once the far-right Trump entered office directly after the country’s first non-white president.
In 2013, the Senate introduced and passed an immigration bill, but this bill was never introduced to the house. Padilla sees it as “a place to start working from.”
Democrats have a slim majority in Congress, which Padilla believes will be enough to revive elements of that immigration bill. Two of the elements that Padilla is excited about include providing a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and clearing out the backlog of unprocessed immigration applications, lowering wait times.
“The timing is right to make significant progress,” Padilla said. “There’s a new majority in the U.S. Senate. It’s a bare majority, but a majority nonetheless.”
With a Democrat in the Oval Office, progressive ideas are much more likely to make progress, at least for the next four years. The more progressive mindset that our government is currently operating under gives immigration reform a “seat at the table.”
The immigration process is difficult to navigate, and hopefully, that changes. If you need immigration help, contact the law offices of immigration in Los Angeles at Alami Law.