Dreamers and Immigrants

In 2019, thousands of Liberians – who have called Minnesota home for decades after escaping a violent civil war – faced an impossible nightmare: The Deferred Enforcement Departure (DED) program which provided the opportunity for them to live and work here was set to expire while the Trump Administration sat back and did nothing.

This experience highlights just one of the ways our current immigration system is failing, but the truth is that the system is filled with bureaucratic potholes, never-ending paperwork, waiting that may never end, and a shortage of immigration judges.

In the Senate, Tina worked with her colleagues on legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for qualifying Liberians so they would never have to wait for the president to renew their DED status. The legislation passed both the House and the Senate and was signed into law at the end of 2019.

Tina also helped introduce the Coordinating Care for Children Affected by Immigration Enforcement Act, which would restore basic humanity to the immigration enforcement process, and co-sponsors Senator Dianne Feinstein’s Keep Families Together Act to prevent the separation of children from their parents at the border.

Tina also acknowledges that in order to reform our immigration system we also need to find fiscally efficient methods to secure our border. Specifically, she supports the need for consistent and credible security measures, strengthening the E-Verify system, and expanding the use of camera systems and intelligence efforts.

But this is only the beginning. Tina believes our immigration system should provide permanent solutions and peace of mind and that both parties need to come together to pass comprehensive reform, eliminating many of the bureaucratic failures. Our communities are strong because of our immigrant neighbors and friends. We need to make sure our immigration system is one that is reflective of our country’s values and needs and one that prioritizes the dignity of the individuals seeking opportunity in the United States.

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