For decades, the issue of Immigration has been a matter of great concern and controversy within the United States political environment. This discussion has been surrounded with concerns over economic, social, and humanitarian factors which have functioned to sustain the debate surrounding Immigration reform and policy. Policymakers have been unable to draft and reach a consensus on universal Immigration reform.
As a result, Immigration continues to be a hotly contested topic not only at the national level but also at the state level.
Virginia Mercury, – January 7, 2021
In 2016, Virginia-based immigration lawyer Hassan Ahmad sent the University of Michigan a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to access sealed papers donated to the university by John Tanton, a prominent anti-immigration activist from Michigan.
But the public university denied the request until 2035.
After years of lower court battles and lawsuits, the issue went before the Michigan Supreme Court Wednesday.
The initial interest in the boxes of papers stored in the university’s library began when Ahmad saw a photo of former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is known for his strong anti-immigration policies, with then President-elect Donald Trump in 2016. Kobach at the time was vying to be Trump’s pick to head the Department of Homeland Security.
Ahmad said he feared what Trump’s administration would mean for his clients and what he would be able to do as an immigration attorney.
So Ahmad started looking into who in Trump’s cabinet could affect immigration policies and what they believe.
“Well, if Kris Kobach is going to be the type of person that’s going to be brought into this administration, we need to figure out who else is going to be on there and where they are tied to,” Ahmad said. “And the more you look, all roads lead back to John Tanton.”
So who is John Tanton?
Tanton, who died in 2019 in Petoskey, Michigan, from Parkinson’s disease, is known as the founder of the modern anti-immigration movement.
He was a leader in population-control activism and promoted eugenics, heading organizations like Zero Population Growth. He also chaired Sierra Club’s National Population Committee and founded the Northern Michigan chapter of Planned Parenthood.
Tanton pushed for English to be the only national language of the United States, a border wall with Mexico and a limit on the number of authorized immigrants allowed in the country.
He founded a network of anti-immigration organizations, commonly known as the Tanton Network. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Tanton established seven organizations, including the Center for Immigration Studies, Federation for Anti-Immigration Reform (FAIR) and the Social Contract Press. He also funded another five anti-immigration organizations and sat on the board of Population-Environment Balance.
“They’re the ones that end up filing amicus briefs and advising members of Congress and policy makers and getting quoted in the media as simply the opposing side to immigration,” Ahmad said. “All the while never being taken to task seriously on the fact that their founder and ethos was rooted in eugenics, race science and White nationalism.”
Many of Tanton’s beliefs helped shape core conservative policies on immigration, which Trump campaigned on and pushed for throughout his presidency.
“I knew who [Tanton] was, but I didn’t appreciate the centrality of his role in actually building this entire movement,” Ahmad said. “It was then that I came across for the first time the fact that he had donated his papers to U of M-Ann Arbor. And when I went on to the Bentley Historical Library website, I found curiously that half of his papers were sealed until 2035.”
Tanton donated 25 boxes of documents to the university under the agreement that 10 of the boxes not be “utilized, possessed, or retained in the performance of any official University function.”
Ahmad became invested in finding out what is in those sealed boxes.
The battle for the papers
Ahmad submitted a FOIA request to U of M for access to the 10 sealed boxes, thinking that it wouldn’t turn into much of an issue, he said.
But the university fought him tooth and nail, denying his initial request and denying him again when he appealed. So in 2017, Ahmad sued the university.
“I started to think that there must be something here,” Ahmad said. “What’s going on? Why are they fighting so hard to keep these papers secret?”
According to the university’s library, the sealed boxes contain FAIR meeting minutes dating back to 1979, nine folders labelled ‘Pioneer Fund,’ which is a group that promotes eugenics, folders on state-specific immigration policies, information on a number of anti-immigration organizations and Tanton’s private correspondences.
The lawsuit was initially thrown out by the state’s Court of Claims ruling in favor of the university. But in July 2019, the state’s Court of Appeals dismissed the lower court’s decision, ruling that the sealed documents are public records and should be made available.
The university then appealed the case to the Michigan Supreme Court.
“The reason the university appealed this case to the state Supreme Court is because we do not want would-be donors to be deterred from donating private records of historical significance to a historical library at a public university, in this case, the Bentley Historical Library,” U of M spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald said. “That would negate FOIA’s purpose of enhancing public access to information and make it more difficult for scholars, students and the broader public to understand Michigan history, including its flaws and its challenges.”
For Ahmad, the issue with this lawsuit and the challenge from the university is two-fold.
Ahmad says the case is a government transparency issue, but he also believes the public deserves how key immigration policies that integrated in our current political climate originated.
“I think it’s problematic. Aside from the public importance of public interest in these papers that shed a light on the intellectual blueprint of the entire movement that has been creating the policies that we’ve seen implemented over the past four years, it’s just a basic issue of government transparency,” Ahmad said. “I mean should a public entity, like the University of Michigan, be allowed to contract this way around FOIA and not even have to show the contract? That’s really what this case is about right now.”
In Ahmad’s lawsuit, he includes a 1989 letter from the Bentley Historical Library asking to preserve Tanton’s papers, where the university states that the papers “reflect his important role in virtually every major contemporary conservation effort in our state and nation.”
“I think it’s a bit disingenuous for the university to now claim that they are worried about the potential chilling effect this could have,” Ahmad said. “Look, there’s a number of different things Tanton and the university could have done if he really was that concerned about not passing on his papers. He knew he was dealing with a public university. He obviously was concerned about who was going to see his papers, and it would have been very easy for him to either bequeath them to the university in his will or to create a trust to have the papers pass after a certain period of time. He did none of that.”
Ahmad believes that under Michigan’s laws, the papers are public records and subject to FOIA because they are possessed by a public entity.
The university isn’t arguing that any FOIA exemptions, such as sensitive law enforcement information, apply to the papers, Ahmad said.
“They’re not saying that any of those apply. What they’re saying is that the papers will not become public record until April 6, 2035,” said Ahmad. “There is no exemption that says that you can contract your way around. The issue is: When does a document that is given to a public entity or created in the public entity become subject to FOIA? And the answer to that question is when it is used as asked or retained by that public entity in furtherance of an official purpose … It’s kind of hard for the university to argue that they weren’t doing it for an official purpose when they were the ones seeking the papers out to begin.”
‘It’s high time’ to trace the history of these policies
“There’s something in there that even Tanton thought was not worthy or needed to be hidden until 2035 when he knew that he was going to be long gone,” Ahmad said.
But there has been a shift in politics in the last four years. An emboldened right-wing has echoed the Tanton-esque policies that energized Trump’s rallies and built his base.
People have asked Ahmad whether or not he would drop the fight now that President-elect Joe Biden is gearing up to take over the White House in a few weeks, but the issue has existed long before Trump’s political power and will likely carry on beyond Biden, Ahmad said.
“I would remind them that [anti-immigration activists] have been able to be successful and push their policies regardless of who’s in the White House. Except now, they have a galvanized and organized base,” he said. “They have succeeded, installing immigration reform under both Democrat and Republican administrations. There is no reason to expect that they will not be able to do the same under Biden.
“So we ignore these groups at our own peril. They are emboldened, they are well funded, they are together, they are coherent. And I think it’s high time that they be called to task for where they actually came from.”
Virginia Mercury, – November 24, 2020
WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden is promising to reinstate an Obama-era program that shields deportation for some undocumented people who were brought to the United States by their parents when they were children.
But immigration advocates are pushing for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to not just be reaffirmed but expanded, and written into law. They view that as a minimum goal in immigration policy, with deportation protection for DACA recipients’ family members extended as well.
“During the Trump administration we’ve seen how fragile the program is and how easily it can be taken away,” said Krsna Avila, a staff attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. President Donald Trump tried to dismantle DACA, but earlier this year was thwarted by the Supreme Court.
While the largest numbers of those enrolled in DACA live in California, Illinois and Texas, they are scattered across the nation. Some states with large numbers of DACA recipients include Florida, Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada and Arizona, according to data from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the 2016 Census. Virginia had more than 12,000 as of 2017.
The DACA program was highlighted on Monday when Biden said he intends to nominate its architect, Alejandro Mayorkas, as his secretary of Homeland Security.
Mayorkas during the Obama administration served as the leader of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and also as deputy director of DHS, which handles implementation and management of immigration policy.
“When I was very young, the United States provided my family and me a place of refuge. Now, I have been nominated to be the DHS secretary and oversee the protection of all Americans and those who flee persecution in search of a better life for themselves and their loved ones,” Mayorkas tweeted Monday.
If confirmed, Mayorkas would be the first Latino to run the department, as well as the first immigrant.
The Obama administration created DACA in 2012. Those enrolled were protected from deportation and also allowed to obtain a temporary work permit and driver’s license, and qualify for in-state-tuition for higher education.
DACA, though, was a target for Trump, who rescinded the program in 2017, halting new applications and sending 700,000 recipients across the country into limbo. The Supreme Court in June ruled against the Trump administration, and a federal judge earlier this month ruled new administration rules on DACA are invalid. That case and related ones are pending and more rulings are expected soon.
Trump’s sweeping actions on immigration during the last four years have pushed advocates and immigration lawyers to lobby the Biden-Harris transition team to not only reinstate DACA, but expand the program to include both recipients and their families.
Making those changes permanent through legislation, not just executive orders, would prevent uncertainty and an assault on immigration from happening again, advocates say.
“Status really controls your life,” said Madhuri Grewal, the federal immigration policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.
But advocates also recognize that passage by a divided Congress likely would be tough. Democrats will control the House, though by a narrower margin, and Republicans could hold on to their majority in the Senate, depending on the results of two runoff races in Georgia.
Reinstatement of the DACA program by Biden is something that advocates either expect to see on day one of the new administration, or within the first 100 days Biden is in office. The incoming administration will be transitioning in the middle of a pandemic and has said that handling COVID-19 will be its first priority, along with several policies, including immigration.
Grewal added that not only does there need to be a change in the law for DACA recipients to have a path for citizenship, but also for the millions of undocumented people in the U.S. It’s estimated that there are more than 11 million undocumented people living in the U.S., according to the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank that studies migration.
Health care is another DACA concern.
Only two states with the highest number of DACA recipients — New York and California — offer Medicaid benefits to Dreamers, which is what those eligible for DACA are sometimes called. As the U.S. struggles to contain a pandemic that has killed more than a quarter of a million Americans, advocates want the incoming Biden administration to require all states to offer Medicaid benefits for DACA recipients through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“So many front line (DACA) workers don’t even have health care,” said Megan Essaheb, director of immigration advocacy for Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC. Under an Obama administration memo, DACA recipients were excluded from Medicaid.
“It’s just been such a roller coaster ride with the Trump administration trying to end the program,” Essaheb said. “It’s really hard to plan for your future.”
She added that a public campaign to reach out to undocumented people from the Asian community, where there’s been a low sign-up rate, would be beneficial as well.
“There’s more stigma in Asian immigrant communities around being undocumented,” she said, adding that there is also a “fear and mistrust in government and a lack of campaign for Asian immigrants.”
Often public campaigns about DACA are targeted for Latinos and there is less stigma about being undocumented, Essaheb said.
While Mexico is the top country of origin for the U.S. undocumented immigration population, the second-fastest growing group of undocumented immigrants is Asians, according to Pew Research.
There are about 30,000 DACA recipients in the Asian community, according to Immigration Advocacy for Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC.
DACA recipients are also supposed to be allowed to leave the U.S. for work reasons or to take care of family abroad and return into the country, but under the Trump administration, “that is something that has not been safe,” Essaheb said.
Advocates are hoping that with the Biden administration reinstating the program, those recipients can resume travel out of the country if needed.
But reinstating the DACA program is the bare minimum, said Avila, the staff attorney at ILRC, adding that the Biden administration should expand the program and lay out a legislative pathway for citizenship.
“Helping undocumented youth isn’t just about reinstating DACA, so advocates want to see that administration show us that they really care about our communities,” he said. “We’re asking for a long overdue legislative fix that not only protects undocumented youth, but our parents as well.”
Grewal, from the ACLU, points out that the incoming Biden administration can be bold on immigration policies, similar to how the Trump administration tested the limits of the U.S. immigration system.
Some of the most consequential policies the Trump administration carried out included the separation of migrant children from their families, the building of the wall at the Southern border and and increased incarceration of undocumented immigrants.
“The flip side of that is that we have seen what the executive branch can do on immigration,” she said. “In order to see a reversal of what Trump did, the Biden administration needs to be as equally bold and visionary on immigration in order to offer relief to the families that have really borne the brunt of four years of attacks on their communities.”
Virginia Mercury, – March 20, 2020
By Luis Angel Aguilar
As an immigrant growing up undocumented in Virginia, my love for my community was challenged by a slew of anti-immigrant policies on a local and state level that treated me and the powerful undocumented immigrants in my life as subhuman. Although immigrants made enormous contributions to the commonwealth both economically and especially culturally, our elected officials seemed determined to drive us away.
Although it is easy to talk about the turnaround to this saga in the last 60 days of the Virginia General Assembly session, this is really a story that begins in 2017. The first Virginia election after Donald Trump took the White House, emboldened Democrats — including immigrants — ran for election in traditionally Republican seats. We knew the people truly inspiring voters were candidates like Kathy Tran and the Elizabeth Guzman – compelling immigrants who would finally put a face on the emerging political power of my neighbors and friends.
The upside of annual elections in the commonwealth is that every year is an opportunity to win better representation. Each election cycle has an immigrant story to tell. The 2018 election saw the defeat of Dave Brat, a congressman largely viewed as having been elected in repudiation of Eric Cantor’s comparative openness to immigration reform. The 2019 election truly transformed political power in the commonwealth, not only flipping the state House and Senate but shifting power up and down the ballot. Prince William County – home to Corey Stewart, the worst anti-immigrant official in Virginia – elected a board of supervisors that overnight became majority Democratic and majority African-American.
Immigrants were among the electorate that helped power these shifts. Both by launching aggressive electoral programs like ours and also by voting. By 2018, more than half a million immigrants in Virginia were eligible to vote. And those numbers don’t reflect new voters like my sister Felisa Aguilar, who voted for the first time in 2019 and entered a voting booth focused on achieving justice for our undocumented mother. One in 11 Virginians is a U.S.-born child of an immigrant and like Felisa, they are racing to the voting booth.
Fast forward to the General Assembly session that just ended. Legislators made payment on a moral debt owed for years of immigrant bashing in the commonwealth. Together with partners, our organization successfully fought for driving access for the undocumented community, in-state tuition for undocumented youth, and increased financial support for English learner students in our K-12 system. Other campaigns led by organizations like Legal Aid Justice Center, NAKASEC, and the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy reduced ICE-police collaboration and established an Office of New Americans.
Not bad for 60 days.
Our work isn’t over.
As long as Prince William County and other localities still have 287g agreements under which local law enforcement acts as ICE agents, there is a huge body of work left to be done. And, after all, the election staring us down in 2020, an election that literally, as a DACA-holder, determines my capacity to remain in the United States, may be the most important of my lifetime.
But it is important to take a brief pause and celebrate with our members and neighbors that since January the Virginia is for Lovers tagline became just a little more real for immigrants. We are left with the ultimate lesson taught by Ella Baker that “Give light and people will find the way” and this process has been full of light and hope for our community.
Virginia Mercury, – February 12, 2020
Legislation extending driver privileges and in-state tuition regardless of immigration status, pushed for years by advocates for Virginia immigrants, cleared both chambers of the General Assembly Tuesday.
“There’s a growing cognizance that these are communities who need licenses and in-state tuition,” said Monica Sarmiento, the executive director of the Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights. “They’re filled with talented people who already contribute to the Virginia economy and need a path forward to build their own prosperity.”
Advocates packed the Capitol for the vote on driving privileges, filling an overflow room where an interpreter translated the debate as unfolded on the floor of the Senate.
“It’s very, very important for me – this moment,” said Ingrid Vaca, who immigrated from Bolivia 20 years ago and lives in Alexandria. She teared up as she described deciding between driving without a license illegally, risking arrest and deportation, and spending two-hours traveling by public transit every morning to her job cleaning houses.
“My life was in the hands of all the people who voted today,” she said.
The Senate voted 22-18 to adopt its version of the legislation, which allows undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver privilege card.
To obtain the card, they will have to meet all the requirements necessary for obtaining a standard driver’s license, but must also have filed an income tax return. The cards would have text on the top stating that it is “not valid identification for federal, voting or public benefit purposes.”
Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Fairfax, proposed the measure. He argued many undocumented immigrants are currently driving illegally. Making sure they passed driving tests and are insured will make roads safer. He also described it as a critical quality of life issue.
“People need to be able to get to a job, take their kids to soccer, go to the doctor,” he said. “It’s an absolute necessity. This is one of the few bills we’re going to vote on this session that will change over 100,000 lives the moment it becomes law.”
The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis, a nonprofit policy group in Richmond, estimated the new law would result in between 124,500 and 160,792 new drivers being licensed, generating a minimum of $10 million in new title fees, sales tax receipts, license plate fees and new car registrations.
The House’s version of the legislation, proposed by Del. Kathy Tran, D-Fairfax, is somewhat more permissive, granting undocumented immigrants the ability to obtain traditional driver’s licenses with no special restrictions. It passed Tuesday on a 57-42 vote.
Under both bills, the credential would not serve as a Real ID, a new standard the federal government is rolling out nationwide, which will be required to board airplanes and enter certain federal facilities.
The House and Senate will now debate the differences between the two versions of the legislation.
‘We invest millions of dollars in these kids’
Both chambers passed another bill on Tuesday that makes undocumented immigrants eligible for in-state tuition.
Del. Alfonso Lopez, D-Arlington, said he had to hide his tears when his version of the legislation passed the House 56-44 to a round of applause from advocates. (The lone Republican yes vote was Del. John Avoli, the former mayor of Staunton who immigrated to the United States from Italy at age 10.) This was the ninth consecutive year that Lopez introduced the bill and the first year it advanced out of committee onto the House floor.
The bills make all students eligible for in-state college tuition, regardless of immigration or citizenship status, as long as they’ve attended high school in Virginia for at least two years or graduated since July 1, 2008. Students would also be eligible if they’ve passed a high school equivalency exam since 2008.
Undocumented students are currently ineligible both for in-state tuition rates and federal aid programs such as student loans and work-study programs.
“In my neck of the woods, I’ve met students who should be going to MIT and Cal Tech who can’t afford Northern Virginia Community College,” Lopez said. “We invest millions of dollars in these kids and then put up a stop sign saying, ‘No, you can’t go any further.’”
A 2019 report from the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute found that roughly 2,000 undocumented students graduate from Virginia high schools every year, according to the most recently available data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
A fiscal impact statement from the state’s Department of Planning and Budget found the bills would have an undetermined impact on revenue. It would depend on how many undocumented students transition from out-of-state to in-state tuition rates.
Neither the House nor Senate bill would apply to immigrants who temporarily move to the United States for school or temporary work. But the Senate version, which passed Tuesday on a 21-19 party line vote, also allows prospective students or their parents to use Virginia income tax returns to prove they’ve been residing in the state. Undocumented students — or their legal guardians — would be required to submit at least two years of tax returns prior to their date of college enrollment.
In both versions of the bill, students could also use proof of high school enrollment or graduation in Virginia to show they’ve been living in the state.
Under both bills, immigration and citizenship information would only be used for determining in-state tuition eligibility. Both chambers will debate the differences between the two versions of the legislation.
Immigration to the United States is the international movement of non-U.S. nationals in order to reside permanently in the country. Immigration has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the U.S. history. Because the United States is a settler colonial society, all Americans, with the exception of the small percentage of Native Americans, can trace their ancestry to immigrants from other nations around the world.
In absolute numbers, the United States has a larger immigrant population than any other country, with 47 million immigrants as of 2015. This represents 19.1% of the 244 million international migrants worldwide, and 14.4% of the U.S. population. Some other countries have larger proportions of immigrants, such as Switzerland with 24.9% and Canada with 21.9%.
The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding such issues as maintaining ethnic homogeneity, workers for employers versus jobs for non-immigrants, settlement patterns, impact on upward social mobility, crime, and voting behavior.
Between 1921 and 1965, policies such as the national origins formula limited immigration and naturalization opportunities for people from areas outside Western Europe. Exclusion laws enacted as early as the 1880s generally prohibited or severely restricted immigration from Asia, and quota laws enacted in the 1920s curtailed Eastern European immigration. The civil rights movement led to the replacement of these ethnic quotas with per-country limits for family-sponsored and employment-based preference visas. Since then, the number of first-generation immigrants living in the United States has quadrupled.
Research suggests that immigration to the United States is beneficial to the U.S. economy. With few exceptions, the evidence suggests that on average, immigration has positive economic effects on the native population, but it is mixed as to whether low-skilled immigration adversely affects low-skilled natives. Studies also show that immigrants have lower crime rates than natives in the United States.
Polls & Statistics
In your view, should immigration be kept at its present level, increased or decreased?
As of 2019, 37% believe it should be kept at present level, 27% increased, 35% decreased, and 2% no opinion.
Democrats and Republicans have starkly different priorities when it comes to the nation’s immigration policies. Yet there also are ideological differences within both parties on the importance of some priorities, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
Two-thirds of Americans (67%) say it is very or somewhat important to establish a way for most immigrants in the country illegally to remain here legally, according to the survey, which comes as the Supreme Court evaluates the Trump administration’s decision to end a program that has protected from deportation nearly 800,000 unauthorized immigrants who arrived in the United States as children.
And while 82% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say this is a very or somewhat important goal, only about half of Republicans and Republican leaners (48%) say the same.
Tim knows that for far too long, our immigration system has unfairly kept millions of people who contribute to the United States living in the shadows of our society. He has spoken out forcefully against the Trump Administration’s treatment of Dreamers, discriminatory travel bans, proposals to limit legal immigration, and attempts to tear families apart.
Tim strongly opposed President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program, which allowed recipients—known as Dreamers—who were brought here at a young age, to live, work and study in their communities without fear of deportation. After Trump ended DACA and left Dreamers in limbo, Tim helped lead the bipartisan negotiations to find a solution that protected Dreamers, create a path to citizenship, and boost border security. Their proposal received bipartisan support from the majority of Senators but did not receive the 60 votes needed to pass after the Trump Administration announced its opposition to the bill. Tim is also a strong supporter of the Dream Act that would protect Dreamers from deportation and create a path to citizenship.
Tim supported the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform bill in 2013, bipartisan legislation to provide a better visa system to encourage growth of a talented workforce, protect Dreamers, enhance border security, and create a path to citizenship for those living in the shadows. Tim delivered the Senate’s first ever floor speech in Spanish making the case for the comprehensive immigration reform bill.
Kaine has spoken out against the rise in deportations of law-abiding immigrants that are ripping families apart. Tim takes pride that the United States is a nation of immigrants. Since the nation’s founding, the men and women who have come to this country from around the world have been integral to our society, bringing skills and talents that help ensure we remain competitive in a global economy. In the years since Tim was born, Virginia went from ranking 35th to 12th in individual personal income, propelled in part by the influx of immigrants to our communities.
Tim has also been a leading voice in Congress on the importance of protecting Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients who are living in the U.S. after being displaced by dangerous conditions in their home countries. Tim has urged the Trump Administration to extend and re-designate TPS for several countries where threats still exist and to protect TPS recipients by giving them the opportunity to gain permanent residency in the United States.
Senator Warner supports a comprehensive approach to immigration reform. He voted in favor of bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform that would strengthen border security, and offer a tough but fair path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants who are already living, working and paying taxes in the United States. He has also introduced proposals that would reform our immigration system to meet the needs of an innovation-driven 21st century economy by making it easier for entrepreneurial and highly skilled immigrants educated at U.S. colleges and universities to stay here and create jobs after graduation.
US House Members
From Gerry Connolly website
Congressman Connolly believes Congress must be a partner in solving our immigration challenge. He has fought for bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform that would provide a path to citizenship, keep families together, and secure our borders. Congressman Connolly supports a pragmatic and results-oriented approach to border security.
He is a strong supporter of the DREAM Act and programs like the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), and Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Northern Virginia is home to many talented DREAMers and TPS holders and Congressman Connolly has seen firsthand how much they contribute to the success of our community. Immigrants enrichen our community, strengthen our economy, and provide our the United States with an entire generation of diverse, future leaders.
Congressman Connolly firmly believes that America’s doors must remain open to those fleeing injury, violence, or persecution. He led the fight in Northern Virginia against efforts to bar refugees and has introduced legislation to establish a minimum goal for the number of refugees resettled in our country.
Congressman Scott supports fair and humane immigration policies that will keep our borders secure and our citizens safe, assure that those who are fleeing violence and oppression are not thrust back into danger, prevent families from being ripped apart, promote a flourishing economy, and treat all individuals who attempt to enter into our country with respect and dignity.
Congressman Scott also believes that Congress must work together to build a fair, effective and commonsense immigration system that lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws as well as a nation of immigrants. He co-sponsored and voted for the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019. Congressman Scott stands ready to work with his colleagues on comprehensive reform of our broken immigration system in a fair and humane way.
Status: Passed House (2/5/19) Passed Senate (2/18/19)
Chief Patron: Delegate Kaye Kory
Status: Assigned Education sub: Post-Secondary and Higher Ed (on 1/13/2020)
Chief Patron: Delegate Alfonso H. Lopez
Status: House: Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice (12/30/19)
Chief Patron: Delegate Kathy. K.L. Tran
Status: House: Assigned HWI sub: Social Services