I come from a family of immigrants. On one side were farmers from England that landed in our Auburn/Kent/Tukwila valley five generations ago. On the other, my great grandparents came through Ellis Island from Poland and Italy, at a time when being Italian was something to hide. Growing up in Auburn, I learned a great appreciation for the Muckleshoot Tribe and the people who’ve called our area home for thousands of years. And as a doctor, I’ve been fortunate to work shoulder-to-shoulder with immensely talented immigrants – doctors and nurses from all over the world, many of whom have chosen to work in areas of healthcare shortages to fill critical gaps to serve our country and communities. I truly believe that the strength and promise of our nation is in the values we all share: health and security for our families and a better future for our children.
That promise includes the power of immigrants. They’re a part of who we are as a people, and those who would deny them, deny the very thing that makes America great. We are a better nation when we recognize and embrace the tremendous value that immigrants bring to our great country. It’s a fact: Global is local. This administration’s anti-immigration agenda goes hand-in-hand with its isolationist agenda – and both are dangerous to our country. We are stronger, smarter, safer, and wealthier when we’re open to the best ideas, partnerships, and people. That’s why I will be a tireless champion of our newest citizens and will fight the racism and short-sightedness of recent anti-immigration policies. Among my priorities as your Congresswoman will be:
- To support a clean and robust Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) bill, so that those who were brought to our country through no action of their own are not exiled from home and sent to a country they’ve never known;
- To support comprehensive immigration reform that improves our process and predictability for legal immigration and includes a pathway to citizenship so that families are kept together and workers and employers – including those in the agriculture and technology sectors – are provided with more certainty regarding status;
- To maintain and modernize our temporary worker visa programs to ensure a robust workforce for agriculture and specialty jobs while facilitating opportunities for workers to more fully participate in corporate growth, employee organizations, and labor unions, recognizing skilled workers as a distinct and complementary part of our overall workforce;
- To champion legislation that allows graduate students and others who have studied and trained in the U.S. to continue to contribute to our country with a clear path to citizenship, so that we are not unnecessarily “exporting” top-notch skills and talents after we have invested in them;
- To rapidly clear the backlog of pending special immigrant visas and asylum cases, including those of people who have helped our troops overseas at great personal risk to themselves and their families. Leaving these people in an uncertain “limbo” limits their ability to plan and contribute;
- To stand up to the Trump Administration with clear messages: We will not build his wall, and we will not support immigration policies that discriminate based on ethnicity or religion;
- To provide immigration and border enforcement agencies with the tools and training needed to ensure robust border protection that is also non-discriminatory and humane, with respect for the law and due process;
- To live up to the ideals of America by welcoming those refugees who are fleeing the horrible realities of countries torn by war, persecution, poverty, and starvation.