Immigration and Border Security

Scott understands that San Diego’s border culture is critical to the region’s identity. This perspective informs his belief that the border represents an opportunity and not a threat. The United States should remain the premier destination for entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world; a refuge for migrants; and a land of opportunity for everyone. Scott supports immigration and border security policies that compassionately address the challenges confronting migrants, expands new and strengthens existing avenues for legal immigration, and confront emerging threats to San Diego’s security resulting from transnational criminal organizations, fentanyl trafficking, and the drug trade.

Immigration Reform:

Immigration policy should improve processing times for visas and legal immigration to incentivize legal travel, promote and enhance American competitiveness by expanding the H-1B visa program for high-skilled workers, and provide a fair opportunity through a rigorous process for individuals to earn citizenship, including Dreamers, farmworkers, and people with Temporary Protected Status. Scott advances these policies in Congress by:

  • Always supporting a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers. In 2021, he co-sponsored and voted in favor of the American Dream and Promise Act, which would have provided Dreamers the opportunity to apply for permanent legal status and eventually become eligible for U.S. citizenship.
  • Leading the Temporary Family Visitation Act, which would establish a new B-3 nonimmigrant visa category specifically for relatives of U.S. citizens and permanent residents that would allow stays of up to 90 days per calendar year.
  • Co-leading the Afghan Adjustment Act, which expands eligibility for special immigrant visas to certain Afghan nationals. This bipartisan legislation would expand eligibility and streamline the visa process for Afghan nationals who supported the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.

Asylum Protections:

From March 2020 through May 2023, under Title 42, migrants seeking asylum were turned away from the US-Mexico border. Title 42 was not meant to be in place indefinitely -- it was a public health order meant to guard against COVID-19 transmission, not an immigration policy. Scott believes it is important to welcome those seeking refuge and invest in the immigration court system to process migrants’ asylum claims fairly and quickly. In San Diego, local and country-wide non-profits work with DHS to provide necessary resources to people who seek asylum. These organizations provide temporary housing, meals, and travel arrangements for asylum seekers with most migrants spending less than 48 hours in San Diego. This network is necessary to ensure San Diego is well equipped to handle the expected influx of asylum seekers. Scott will continue to support organizations and local governments that help migrant communities as Congress works to fix the broken immigration system.

Border Security:

Scott believes in strengthening border security by modernizing border infrastructure and increasing personnel. He has long opposed building a border wall that will not make San Diego any safer or more prosperous. Funds spent on a border wall should instead be used to modernize technological and port infrastructure to make the screening of cargo and travelers more efficient and secure. Since joining Congress, Scott has worked with the San Diego delegation to secure funding for the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa expansions. Otay Mesa Port recently opened two new lanes and doubled their number of pedestrian inspection booths, speeding up wait times.

Scott also supports hiring more staff at border crossings to help with processing, screening, and monitoring. Scott has consistently voted to increase funding for CBP because he knows that hiring additional CBP officers would:

  • Expand scanning of vehicles and individuals coming across the border;
  • Stop the illegal trafficking drugs like Fentanyl;
  • Expand the hours for which Friendship Park is open;
  • Shorten wait times for pedestrian and vehicle crossings.