He calls for secure borders, but also a path to citizenship.
During a news conference on Tuesday in Gaithersburg, Democrat John Delaney released a policy paper on immigration. It calls for secure borders and a crackdown on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants. But he says there should be a path to citizenship for illegals, if they register with the government, undergo a criminal background check and learn English. "We can't continue to be a country that has lax, on a relative basis, security on our borders. But at the same time, doesn't allow the best and brightest to stay in our country," he says.
Delaney is running against long time 6th District Republican Roscoe Bartlett, whose been in Congress since 1993. He and other opponents of a path to citizenship say it rewards bad behavior. They say these individuals should leave the US and apply for American Citizenship in their home countries. "It's a very simplistic and inaccurate view that doesn't reflect economic reality or the values of our country," Delaney responds.
Delaney is also calling for passage of the federal and Maryland DREAM Acts. Maryland's would let illegal immigrants attend college at in-state tuition rates, under certain circumstances. Voters will be deciding on the state's DREAM Act during the November general election.
Delaney on Tuesday also announced that an Asian-American and Middle Eastern Community Advisory Board has been formed. He says these 33 members will keep him apprised of the concerns of these communities. "My job is to represent the people as best that I can, bring resources so bear, help solve problems and pursue opportunities. But I really need to know what the challenges are and what the opportunities are. And I need partnerships in the community, and this is the way to do it," he says.
One of the members of this board is Dr. Milad Pooran, a former Democratic Candidate for the 6th District. He lost in the 2012 Primary to Delaney.