Op-Ed: Why I Endorse Bernie Sanders for President

Moving All Americans Forward: Why I Endorse Bernie Sanders for President
by Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda
There are many reasons that as a Bronx resident, state Assemblyman, and a Puerto Rican, I support Senator Bernie Sanders in New York’s April 19 Democratic presidential primary. Here are just three of them.
LUISBERNIE-001Bernie Sanders is the only candidate with a record and a plan for comprehensive and humane immigration reform policies.
 Unlike his opponent, Senator Sanders supports not only maintaining but expanding President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans to provide broad relief to the parents of DREAMers, of citizens, of legal permanent residents, and other immigrants.
Well within the president’s executive authority, it would allow all undocumented people who have been in the United States for at least five years to remain here without fear of deportation.
His plan will dismantle inhumane deportation programs and detention centers, pave the way for citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, and regulate the future flow of immigrants by modernizing the visa system.
As president, Sanders will expand the use of humanitarian parole to ensure the return of unjustly deported immigrants,and reunite broken families, as well as decoupling federal immigration enforcement from routine local policing.
For me as a Puerto Rican, Bernie’s policies to resolve the island’s financial crisis are of enormous significance. His opponent has accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from the hedge funds that are strangling Puerto Rico, while he has not accepted one red cent from them.
Sanders has also called on Congress to give Puerto Rico the same authority granted to every U.S. municipality to restructure its debt under the supervision of a bankruptcy court. He also promotes strong investment in the island’sinfrastructure that would create more than 130,000 jobs.
Finally, unlike his opponent, Senator Sanders believes in ending federal prohibition on marijuana use, instead leaving it up to the states. Aggressive enforcement of marijuana possession laws needlessly ensnares hundreds of thousands of people – the majority of them black and Latino – into the criminal justice system and wastes billions of taxpayers’ dollars.
As a Latino and a New Yorker, I look forward to having a President who will fight for our community and not for the interests of the top one percent. As the son of an immigrant and a native New Yorker, I know that Bernie Sanders can do the job, and he can do it right.
Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda represents the 87th Assembly District covering Parkchester, West Farms, Soundview and Castle Hill. 
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