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Tulsi Gabbard on Immigration

Democratic Presidential Challenger; HI Rep.

 


Don't treat immigrants as second-class, but no free college

Q: You are a co-sponsor of the College-for-All Act which would make public colleges and universities free for all Americans. One of the authors of that plan, Senator Sanders, believes college should be tuition-free for undocumented immigrants as well. Do you?

GABBARD: I don't. I think it's important for us to fix our legal immigration system and look at the millions of undocumented immigrants in this country who have been suffering as they've been living in the shadows. And instead of putting a band-aid on this problem, fix our legal immigration system to provide them with that pathway to legal residency or citizenships, that they are no longer treated as second-class citizens in this country. This is something that is impacting my generation in a huge way and I believe that it is our generation that has the bold, creative solutions to be able to solve it. This is about promise for our future and we've got to make those kinds of investments.

Source: July Democratic Primary debate (second night in Detroit) , Jul 31, 2019

Secure borders AND humane immigration policies

Our hearts break when we see children at these detention facilities who've been separated from their parents, when we see human beings crowded into cages in abhorrent, inhumane conditions. We can have both secure borders as well as humane immigration policies. We have to stop separating children from their parents, make it easier for people to seek asylum, make sure that we are securing our borders and by reforming those laws.
Source: July Democratic Primary debate (second night in Detroit) , Jul 31, 2019

2015: Favor Christian over Islamic refugees

She was one of 47 Democrats to join the GOP in passing the SAFE Act in 2015, which would have added extra requirements to the refugee vetting process [affecting] the admission of Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the country. She introduced a resolution calling for the United States to prioritize religious and ethnic minorities in the Middle East -- namely, Christians and Yezidis -- when granting refugee status. "These persecuted religious minority groups must be our first priority," she said. She seems to have somewhat softened her stances recently. She came out against Trump's refugee and travel bans, for example. Around the same time, Gabbard spoke at an event held by the group Muslims for Peace, in which she uncharacteristically spoke of "so-called religious terrorism" and affirmed that "the perpetrators of these horrific actions have no connection with the spiritual love that lies at the heart of all religions."
Source: Jacobin Mag., "Not your friend": 2020 presidential hopefuls , May 27, 2017

Relax onerous visa requirements for Indian & Chinese tourism

In Congress, I will fight to relax the onerous and overly burdensome visa requirements for visitors coming from countries such as China and India. The present policies are outdated and do not reflect the fact that China and India now have booming economies and a burgeoning middle class. These people have money in their pockets and are eager to see the world. Many of them want to visit Hawai`i, but because it's so hard for them to get tourist visas, they end up going elsewhere. The beaches of Bali, Thailand, and Vietnam are teeming with big-spending Chinese tourists. If we can get these visitors to come to Hawai`i instead, it will have an immediate and significant impact on Hawai`i's tourism industry.
Source: 2012 House campaign website, votetulsi.com, "Issues" , Nov 6, 2012

Voted to legalize DREAMer immigrants via military service.

Gabbard voted NAY Gosar Anti-DACA Amendment to H.R. 5293

Congressional Summary: The House voted on an amendment by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) to H.R. 5293, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2017. The amendment would prohibit funds from being used to extend the expiration of, or reissue a new expiration date to, the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) program.

Recommendation by Heritage Foundation to vote YES:(6/16/2016): The MAVNI program is a pilot program authorizing "military services to recruit certain legal immigrants whose skills are considered to be vital to the national interest." However, a DoD memo has made it clear that DACA/DAPA recipients are eligible under this program, essentially opening up a pathway to amnesty for illegal aliens who enlist. By ensuring that this guidance ends, DOD will no longer be able to enlist illegal immigrants through MAVNI.

Recommendation by the ACLU to vote NO: (6/28/2011): The DREAM Act promotes fundamental fairness for young people by allowing access to affordable post-secondary education and military service opportunities, regardless of immigration status, and would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, have lived here for at least five years and have graduated from high school. The DREAM Act could result in billions of dollars in additional tax revenue from tapping the potential of DREAM-eligible students and future service personnel. Since September 11, 2001, more than 69,000 immigrants have earned citizenship while serving, and more than 125 who entered military service after that date have made the ultimate sacrifice in war by giving their lives for this nation.

Legislative outcome: Failed House 210 to 211 (no Senate vote)

Source: Supreme Court case 16-H5293 argued on Jun 16, 2016

Increase both high-skill and family-based visa caps.

Gabbard co-sponsored the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act

Legislative SummaryThis bill increases the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas from 7% of the total number of such visas available that year to 15%, and eliminates the 7% cap for employment-based immigrant visas. It also removes an offset that reduced the number of visas for individuals from China. The bill also establishes transition rules for employment-based visas from FY2020-FY2022, by reserving a percentage of EB-2 (workers with advanced degrees or exceptional ability), EB-3 (skilled and other workers), and EB-5 (investors) visas for individuals not from the two countries with the largest number of recipients of such visas. Of the unreserved visas, not more than 85% shall be allotted to immigrants from any single country.

Explanation from the Countable.US: Under the current immigration system, immigrants from any one country can claim no more than 7% of the 140,000 employment-based green cards issued annually to foreign nationals working in the U.S. This significantly disadvantages immigrants from larger countries that more immigrants come from.

For example, China (population 1.3 billion) and India have large backlogs of workers wishing to immigrate to and work in the U.S., but they have the name visa caps as countries such as Iceland or Estonia (population 1.3 million), which have both much smaller populations and far fewer citizens seeking to immigrate to the U.S.

The net effect of this is that immigrants from India and China can face decades-long waits, averaging 2-3 times the wait times for immigrants from other countries, for green cards, and many have to return home because they can't get permanent residency; meanwhile, countries such as Iceland and Estonia never come close to reaching their visa limit caps.

Legislative outcome Roll call 437 in House on 7/10/2019 passed 365-65-2; referred to Committee in Senate 7/9/2019; no action as of 1/1/2020.

Source: S.386/H.R.1044 19-HR1044 on Feb 7, 2019

2017-18 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Immigration: Tulsi Gabbard on other issues:
HI Gubernatorial:
Andria Tupola
Bob McDermott
Colleen Hanabusa
David Ige
Duke Aiona
John Carroll
Neil Abercrombie
HI Senatorial:
Brian Schatz
Cam Cavasso
Eddie Pirkowski
John Carroll
Linda Lingle
Mazie Hirono
Ron Curtis

Freshman class of 2019:
"Freshman class" means "not in Congress in January 2017", with exceptions:
* Special election, so sworn in other than Jan. 2019
** Served in Congress in a previous term
*** Lost recount or general election
Freshman class of January 2019 (Republicans):
AZ-8*:Lesko
CA-39***:Kim
FL-6:Waltz ; FL-15:Spano ; FL-17:Steube
GA-7:Woodall
ID-1**:Fulcher
IN-4:Baird
IN-6:Pence
KS-2:Watkins
MN-1:Hagedorn ; MN-8:Stauber
MS-3:Guest
MT-0*:Gianforte
NC-9***:Harris
ND-a:Armstrong
NM-2***:Herrell
OH-12*:Balderson ; OH-16:Gonzalez
OK-1:Hern
PA-9:Meuser ; PA-11**:Smucker ; PA-12*:Keller ; PA-13:Joyce ; PA-14:Reschenthaler
SC-4:Timmons
SD-0:Johnson
TN-2:Burchett ; TN-6:Rose ; TN-7:Green
TX-2:Crenshaw ; TX-3:Taylor ; TX-5:Gooden ; TX-6:Wright ; TX-21:Roy ; TX-27*:Cloud
VA-5:Riggleman ; VA-6:Cline
WI-1:Steil
WV-3:Miller
Freshman class of January 2019 (Democrats):
AZ-2**:Kirkpatrick ; AZ-9:Stanton
CA-49:Levin ; CA-10:Harder ; CA-21:Cox ; CA-25:Hill ; CA-39:Cisneros ; CA-45:Porter ; CA-48:Rouda
CO-2:Neguse ; CO-6:Crow
CT-5:Hayes
FL-26:Mucarsel-Powell ; FL-27:Shalala
GA-6:McBath
HI-1**:Case
IA-1:Finkenauer ; IA-3:Axne
IL-4:Garcia ; IL-6:Casten ; IL-14:Underwood
KS-3:Davids
KY-6***:McGrath
MA-3:Trahan ; MA-7:Pressley
MD-6:Trone
ME-2:Golden
MI-8:Slotkin ; MI-9:Levin ; MI-13:Tlaib ; MI-13*:Jones ; MI-11:Stevens
MN-2:Craig ; MN-3:Phillips ; MN-5:Omar
NC-9***:McCready
NH-1:Pappas
NJ-2:Van Drew ; NJ-3:Kim ; NJ-7:Malinowski ; NJ-11:Sherrill
NM-1:Haaland ; NM-2:Torres Small
NV-3:Lee ; NV-4**:Horsford
NY-14:Ocasio-Cortez ; NY-11:Rose ; NY-19:Delgado ; NY-22:Brindisi ; NY-25:Morelle
OK-5:Horn
PA-4:Dean ; PA-5:Scanlon ; PA-6:Houlahan ; PA-7:Wild ; PA-17*:Lamb
SC-1:Cunningham
TX-7:Fletcher ; TX-16:Escobar ; TX-29:Garcia ; TX-32:Allred
UT-4:McAdams
VA-2:Luria ; VA-7:Spanberger ; VA-10:Wexton
WA-8:Schrier
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Page last updated: Jun 19, 2020