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Al Franken on Immigration

DFL Jr Senator (MN)

 


Muslim travel ban is a recruiting tool for ISIS

Q: ISIS recruitment efforts have targeted the Somali community in Minnesota. Does it make sense to put in some kind of new and more thorough vetting system, even if you don't agree with the travel ban?

FRANKEN: Well, the people that ISIS has targeted and those people in our vibrant Somali community in Minnesota, they have in a few cases gone back to Somalia to fight with Shabaab. But I just got a 4-year-old girl--and this is what we're talking about [with Trump's immigrant ban]--who was supposed to come in on January 31 to join her family and her mom, from Uganda, where she was in a refugee camp. That's who is being hurt here. Now, this 4-year-old had been vetted for five years. And she was...

Q: How could she be vetted for five years if she was 4?

FRANKEN: That was a joke. This kind of ban makes us less safe, because it gives a recruiting tool to ISIS and to other jihadists saying that America is anti-Muslim. The Syrian refugees, they are fleeing terror.

Source: CNN "State of the Union" 2017 interview by Jake Tapper , Feb 12, 2017

Apologize for stripping citizenship for marrying foreigners

What's the statute of limitation on saying sorry? Franken has some apologizing he'd like to do on behalf of his Senate predecessors.

In 1907, during the rush of European immigration to the US, Congress stripped citizenship from any American woman who married a foreigner. The little-known Expatriation Act stayed on the books until 1940.

Franken would like the Senate to offer, through legislation, its sympathy and regret for passing a law "antithetical to the core principle that all persons, regardless of gender, race, religion, or ethnicity, are created equal."

Franken's office first learned of this blemish in US history from a constituent who was seeking posthumous citizenship for his grandmother. She lost hers when she married a Swedish man in 1914. Franken couldn't accomplish that, so is seeking an official apology as the next best thing.

The Senate doesn't make a habit of seeking absolution, but this would not be the first time it's formally recognized mistakes from America's past.

Source: Washington Post on 2014 Minnesota Senate race , Apr 3, 2014

Support guest worker programs for seasonal jobs

Last year, we saw crops go un-harvested in the Northwest because of the stalemate on immigration reform. But I am leery of guest worker programs that would create a permanent underclass of exploited workers or drive down the wages of American workers. We should re-examine the economic and trade policies contributed to illegal immigration. Working to improve economic conditions in Mexico, which we’ve tried and failed to do with NAFTA, could help reduce the incentive to attempt to enter the US illegally
Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, www.AlFranken.com, “Issues” , May 14, 2008

Enforce immigration law at the worksite, not at the border

The best way to deal with illegal immigration is to enforce--actually enforce--the law at the worksite. No wall is high enough to keep people from coming over it--or under it--if there are jobs waiting on the other side. Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, www.AlFranken.com, “Issues” , Mar 9, 2008

We need comprehensive immigration reform

Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, www.AlFranken.com, “Issues” , Mar 9, 2008

Provide lawyers and evidence for children being deported.

Franken co-sponsored S.2540/H.R.4646

This bill authorizes the Department of Justice (DOJ) to appoint or provide counsel at government expense to aliens in removal proceedings.

  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shall provide an alien in removal proceedings with all relevant documents in its possession, unless the alien has knowingly waived the right to such documents.
  • DOJ may appoint or provide counsel to aliens in any INA proceeding.
  • DHS shall ensure that aliens have access to counsel inside all immigration detention and border facilities.
  • DOJ shall appoint counsel, at government expense if necessary, for an unaccompanied alien child or a particularly vulnerable individual.
  • DHS shall establish a pilot program to increase the court appearance rates of unaccompanied alien children and particularly vulnerable individuals by contracting with nongovernmental, community-based organizations to provide such aliens with case management services.
    Source: Fair Day in Court for Kids Act 16-S2540 on Feb 11, 2016

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