Houston is a city of immigrants. It is at the core of our very identity, and an essential part of what makes it a great place to live.

There is no doubt that we need to fix our immigration system. It will not be easy to do. But instead of meaningfully addressing it, Congress has played politics for decades, using scare tactics to win elections instead of doing what’s best for our country.

We need comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship. It should be thoughtful, practical, and fair. It should include strengthening our border security, cracking down on employers who break the law, and ensuring law enforcement, including immigration and customs enforcement, can do its job to keep our communities safe. It should not include building a wall between us and our state’s top trading partner.

In 2013, the Senate passed bipartisan bill to address this pressing issue—by a 2-to-1 margin—after negotiation and compromise. The House of Representatives has refused to consider the bill. The failure of the House even to debate this bill or propose other meaningful solutions is a stark example of the gridlock and dysfunction that has failed us for years.

Congress must work together to address immigration issues. We must keep the promises we made to Dreamers and pass the DREAM Act. And we must act immediately to stop the devastating separation of families at the border. It is time to send people to Washington who will do so.

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