On The Issues: PROTECT

PROTECT: Retirement Programs

The Social Security program requires support and funding. Government cannot lay its failures at the feet of the working Americans whose earnings fund the social security system. Nor can we ignore pubic pension obligations. Changes are necessary and will require stages of implementation to prevent taking benefits away from those to whom they were contracted and to prevent repeating the same irresponsible mistakes for future generations of workers.

PROTECT: Our Environment

Soot, smog and sewage filled water once were common issues in the Chicago area and elsewhere in America. No longer. We place great value in the air quality and clean water. When we learned that lead-filled water poisoned residents of Flint Michigan, we did not presume the law was ineffective or wrong and should be abolished, but rather that the government failed to perform its obligation to protect public safety. Clean air and water laws need to be protected and enforced.

We also place great value in the science that confirms human actions affect the earth's climate. America should be a leader in innovation to reduce preventable globalwarming. Regardless of argument over measurement. there is no argument that clean energy will help reduce global warming. It also is a valuable driver of economic growth. We need to protect our commitment to clean energy and integrating these alternative energy supplies into the power supply grid. Clean energy will lead to long-term lower costs for residents and businesses.

PROTECT: Immigrants and Our Borders

While bi-partisan solutions have been offered from time to time, pressure from extremist politicians has prevented progress on good legislation - legislation that recognizes that not every illegal immigrant has the same story, and many are deserving of a path to citizenship.

The new administration has taken an approach to immigration and border security that is of questionable value. Spending the governments resources to lock up the most people as quickly as possible fills detention centers operated for profit. but does not offer a sustainable solution to a long-standing problem. Refugees, foreign workers and other immigrants should be able to enter America legally without fear of detention or intolerance. Tourists should be welcome. A thoughtful and conscientious immigration program is needed, rather than one that strikes fear in the hearts of every person who appears to be of foreign origin.

A more responsive Immigration and Naturalization Service is required. The legislators must address the fact that only 30o judges are available to handle over soo,000 cases. The INS must operate more effectively. Public opinion overwhelmingly supports deporting illegal immigrants that have committed crimes commonly understood to threaten the public safety and taking into account the differing severity of crimes. Public opinion also regularly supports increased border security that will be cost-effective and prevent people from illegally entering the country. It is the legislators' obligation to fix the immigration system so that immigration agents are uniformly respected for upholding the security of our country's borders. These requirements can be achieved with fair legislation and thoughtful implementation, rather than radical., illegal Executive Orders.

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