I am working to break down barriers so all people can fully participate in our economy and democracy. Immigrants living in Northwest Washington and around the country deserve the opportunity to contribute to their communities, which is why I support comprehensive immigration reform.
I believe that we need to establish a path to citizenship for these immigrants. Let me be clear: I do not support any proposal that hands out citizenship. However, I believe that if someone is willing to pay taxes and a fine, pass a criminal background check, and learn English, they should be given a chance to move forward toward legal status and a future opportunity to apply for citizenship.
When I talk with people across the Pacific Northwest, I hear stories from DREAMers, young undocumented immigrants who came to our country as children, who want to pursue their education, serve in our military, and continue to build a life in this country. I have talked with both employers and workers who have shared with me the importance of making sure businesses can hire the workers they need while ensuring workers have the rights and protections they need. And I have talked with members of cultural communities who tell me the reasons their families came to the U.S. At the core, their message to me has been the same: we need immigration reform that expands opportunity and grows the economy.
In addition to the DREAMers, there are millions more undocumented immigrants in this country who may be hardworking, contributing members of society, but are constrained by their lack of legal status.
Furthermore, I am concerned about the impact of deportation on families and communities. I think President Obama’s executive action to reform the U.S. immigration system takes positive steps to keep families together, better focus law enforcement resources on upholding public safety and national security, and update opportunities for high-skill workers and entrepreneurs. But these actions cannot be the end of our country’s conversation about immigration reform. The complex problems of the immigration system impact nearly every person in our country and every part of our economy, and I support a comprehensive solution.
- Original cosponsor of H.R. 15, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. A summary of the bill can be found here. Signed a petition to bring the bill to the House floor for a vote.
- Strong supporter of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and have lived by the law while here from deportation.
- Advocated for more human immigration enforcement policies with the administration, and supported President Obama’s November 2014 executive action in immigration reform.
- Original cosponsor of a bill to improve standards and conditions at immigration detention centers across the country.
- Cosponsored the DREAM Act, which would have allowed students that have grown up in the U.S. to have an opportunity to contribute to our society by attaining a college education or serving in the military.