Confronting and Resolving the Immigration Crisis

We can no longer entrench the immigration debate as a wedge issue for both parties to leverage in every election cycle. Immigration is not only a social issue; it is an economic issue because without papers, you cannot work. I am very aware some would disagree with my stance on immigration and could make me lose some potential voters, but I made up my mind going into this campaign that I would be honest about my position on issues, whether controversial or not.

America has been good to me as an immigrant, allowing me to achieve the American Dream. It would be a lie to attempt to deceive Tennesseans about my views on Immigration. In addition, as someone who is a believer in a broad definition of government transparency, I have to be transparent to those I ask to vote for me. It is the decent thing to do and what I am stating here is my opinion as I also know it will be challenged and subject to debate, both of which I am open to. Finally, the timing of any immigration reform has to be right to be successful.

To resolve the American immigration crisis, these two critical questions must be answered: "what do we do with undocumented immigrants already inside the US?" and "how do we stop illegal immigration?" Promoting legal immigration has to be the foundation and primary focus as well as securing our borders. Those are the easier solutions that the majority agree on but what about the first question? American political leaders have played so much politics with the immigration problem that it has now become a crisis. The reality is America can not deport every undocumented immigrant, from a financial standpoint, human capital required and the separation of families. For example, are we going to add the American children of these immigrants to our problematic foster care system?

I would like to see DACA recipients granted legalization. As minors, DACA recipients had no say in the decision to come to the US. In addition these young men and women have been educated in the US and on humanitarian grounds, some have no connection with their country of origin. Likewise, we make exceptions for minors in our legal system and I think immigration should not be an exception.

The immigration system is clogged up with a backlog of nearly 5 years. We also have to keep families together. A path to legalization creates more taxpayers as we recover from the economic fallout of the COVID pandemic and reduces the need to increase taxes in future to pay down our debt.

Yomi Faparusi, MD. PhD, J.D., Independent Candidate for Tennessee U.S. Senate

Independent • Traditional • Principled