We need to craft a humane, compassionate immigration policy that acknowledges the reality of the benefits that immigrants provide.

My grandmother was unauthorized worker from Scotland, came over the Canadian border to escape a system that would have held her in a life of servitude, to follow the American Dream. We are a country of immigrants and at one time, our ancestors also suffered the pain of being considered “the other” as immigrants throughout history have been the scapegoats.

I won’t give an inch in my opposition to Trump’s outrageous anti-immigrant proposals. Ideas like a ‘total and complete’ shutdown of Muslim immigration and deporting all undocumented immigrants are anathema to American values. I will fight for comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship.

In particular, the Latino community has long been deeply interwoven into our community here in Orange County for many years; it breaks my heart to see families today being torn apart in ICE raids. Our county would stop functioning if all undocumented workers were deported tomorrow. In fact, many in the business community have argued to expand “guest worker” programs, because often these workers are cheated out of wages, some are abused and live in inhumane conditions. Now, suddenly, many of these same people are pointing the finger at the immigrant community as the cause of all the crime and unemployment in the area.

Here is what I believe, and what I would fight to do as your Congresswoman:   

  • We need to pass a compassionate & comprehensive immigration reform bill that will provide a swift, fair, permanent path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living, working, and paying taxes here in our country.
  • By cancelling DACA, Trump has put 800,000 young people at risk of losing their jobs and being deported from the only country they know as home.  PASS A CLEAN DREAM ACT Dream Act would protect DACA-recipients by providing qualified undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. before the age of 18 a swift and permanant pathway to citizenship.
  • Expand DAPA to provide broad administrative relief to the parents of DREAMers.This would allow all undocumented people who have been in US at least five years to stay in country without fear of being deported. Over 85% (9 million) of aspiring Americans have been here at least 5 years.
  • Dismantle inhumane deportation programs & detentions centers;
  • Fight our current administation’s harsh stance against refugees from Haiti and San Salvador, and fight to keep in place Temporary Protected Status for these hard-working members of our community.
  • I do believe in ensuring that our border remains secure, enforcing our pre-existing policies towards illegal immigration which were already working, and deporting criminals found guilty of violent crimes.

But, I do NOT support building an $18 BILLION border wall, which is merely symbolic 14th Century solution to a 21st Century problem, and a complete waste of taxpayer money. Let’s use high grade cameras, thermal imaging, movement sensors, and other technology that is much more efficient and much less expensive.