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Amy Klobuchar on Immigration

DFL Sr Senator (MN); Democratic presidential contender

 


Let foreign medical students stay as rural doctors

I don't want agree with some of my colleagues here about putting hard-earned taxpayer money into rich kids going to college. What I think we need to do instead is look at what our needs are in our economy.

We're going to have a million openings for home health care workers, particularly in rural areas, that we don't know how to fill. We're going to have over 100,000 openings for nursing assistants. We're not going to have a shortage of sports marketing degrees. We're going to have a shortage of plumbers and nurses.

So putting incentives in place with how we do loan payback, making one- and two-year degrees free, and then of course creating loan payback programs if people will go, especially medical students, into rural areas.

I have passed the bill that allows doctors from other countries that study in our medical schools to stay and serve in rural areas. We need to expand that.

Source: 10th Democratic Primary debate on eve of S.C. primary , Feb 25, 2020

Defeat Trump and pass immigration reform

The best way to protect the Dreamers is to have a new president. There are the votes there to protect the Dreamers. The Dreamers are our future. The Dreamers are so important in Nevada. And the best way we can get this done is to pass comprehensive immigration reform, which creates a path to citizenship to so many hard-working people, will bring down the deficit by $158 billion, and will bring peace for these Dreamers.
Source: 9th Democrat 2020 primary debate, in Las Vegas Nevada , Feb 19, 2020

Immigration reform would reduce deficit, raise wages

It brings the deficit down, this was a non-partisan budget office assessment, by $158 billion in 10 years. Comprehensive immigration--why is that? Because people come out of the shadows and they start paying taxes. The AFL-CIO supported the bill because wages will go up. The private sector, of course, the Chamber of Commerce supported the comprehensive immigration bill. So there's a lot of good arguments for it that bring in people of different backgrounds.
Source: CNN Town Hall on eve of 2020 S. C. primary , Feb 18, 2020

Immigrants don't diminish America; they ARE America

There is the will to change this in Congress. What's missing is the right person in the White House. I believe that immigrants don't diminish America; they are America. And if you want to do something about border security, you first of all change the rules so people can seek asylum in those Northern Triangle countries.
Source: July Democratic Primary debate (first night in Detroit) , Jul 30, 2019

Against open borders & decriminalizing illegal entry

Q: Do you support the idea to decriminalize unauthorized border crossings?

KLOBUCHAR: I support different enforcement priorities. Of course, I'll look at the statute to see if you can make changes depending on the level of a security risk. But no, I don't support open borders and simply getting rid of this statute.

Source: ABC This Week interviews in 2019 , Jul 14, 2019

Administration to blame for chaos at the border

They claimed they were going to show us how great things were down there and all these things they had done, and then you saw people in cages. That's why we have been pushing for standards in place, by changing the asylum process and by stopping this chaotic policy, because what happens is the traffickers say to the people in those countries, hey, the president's changed the policy again, or a court changed it because the president did a policy that was illegal, and then they start com
Source: ABC This Week interviews in 2019 , Jul 14, 2019

Comprehensive immigration reform is an economic issue

The people who are here on temporary legal status, we've got hundreds of thousands of people that are legally here that are at risk or are being deported that work in our nursing homes and our hospitals. We have got DREAMers, two million of them, that came to this country through no fault of their own and are a major part of our economy. So, we need to have an economic discussion, as well as a border discussion and that's why I want to move forward with comprehensive immigration reform.
Source: CBS Face the Nation 2019 interview series , Jun 30, 2019

25% of our Nobel laureates were born in other countries

Q: Secretary Castro just said that he wants to no longer have it be a crime to illegally cross the border. Do you support that? Do you think it should be a civil offense only?

KLOBUCHAR: Immigrants, they do not diminish America. They are America. But I do think you want to make sure that you have provisions in place that allow you to go after traffickers and allow you to go after people who are violating the law. What I really think we need to step back and talk about is the economic imperative here. And that is that 70 of our Fortune 500 companies are headed by people that came from other countries. Twenty-five percent of our U.S. Nobel laureates were born in other countries. We have a situation right now where we need workers in our fields and in our factories. We need them to start small businesses. We need their ideas. And this president has literally gone backwards at a time when our economy needs immigrants.

Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami) , Jun 26, 2019

Immigrants crucial to labor & management

"The economics of it is that we need workers in our factories all over the country, we need workers on our farms, and we need workers with creative ideas," Klobuchar said. "At least 70 of our Fortune 500 companies are headed up by immigrants. So immigration has been a major driving economic force. And you can't have economics with heart, and neglect 12 million people, and just pretend they're not working in our economy."
Source: The Atlantic, "Heartland Economics": 2020 Democratic primary , Apr 4, 2019

Increase legal immigration but don't abolish ICE

Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls , Feb 10, 2019

Path to citizenship for people who have been law abiding

The Republican candidate, Jim Newberger, brought up the recent killing of an Iowa college student and alluded to the immigration status of her alleged killer. "If we would have had comprehensive immigration reform where we knew who was coming across our border, would Mollie have been killed in Iowa?" Newberger asked.

"First of all," Klobuchar answered, "the family has asked that people not politicize this tragic death."

Klobuchar added the man charged with the student's death should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. She also said that she endorsed a path to earned citizenship for people who have been law abiding and that she supported more money for border security and employer checks of immigrant status.

Source: MPR News on 2018 Minnesota Senate debate , Aug 22, 2018

No amnesty for companies hiring illegal immigrants

Q: What should we do on our southern border?

KLOBUCHAR: I believe we need to have order. We need to have adequate border controls, the fence, and no amnesty for companies hiring illegal immigrants; as well as earned citizenship for people who have been here, have paid their taxes, that are willing to learn English and become part of our community.

KENNEDY: Ms. Klobuchar came out first for a bill that had nothing in there for a fence. I [didnít agree with that bill] that we should give a veto right to Mexico to control our border.

KLOBUCHAR: For 6 years, this Congressman and this Congress had the ability to do something about immigration. We need comprehensive immigration reform. It hasnít happened. The Fargo Forum debunked his claims on my stands on immigration, and said they were distorted and not true.

FITZGERALD: I do not support a fence on our southern border. You show me a 50-foot fence, Iíll show you someone with a 51-foot ladder.

Source: Minnesota 2006 3-way Senate Debate, sponsored by LWV , Oct 30, 2006

Opposes Social Security for illegal immigrants

Q: You oppose Social Security for illegal immigrants?

KLOBUCHAR: Yes, I do.

KENNEDY: If you look at the record, she said she would support the Senate immigration bill, that would give benefits to 12 million people that didnít have benefits. $5 billion cost to Social Security. If you included Medicare and Medicaid, thatíd be $50 billion.

Source: 2006 MN Senate debate, on Meet the Press , Oct 15, 2006

Welcome 10,000 Syrian refugees now, and more later.

Klobuchar co-sponsored S.R.268

Senate Resolution 268 recognizes:

Opponents reasons for voting NAY: (Rep. Ross introductory remarks to opposing bill H.R.4025) `This legislation prohibits taxpayer dollars from being used to admit Syrian refugees to the United States. ISIS carried out a series of violent attacks in Paris, and reports have indicated at least one of the terrorists who committed these atrocities entered Europe by posing as a refugee fleeing Syria. These horrific attacks provide a warning of what can happen on American soil if we do not take appropriate and immediate action. Reliable intelligence about refugees from countries like Syria attempting to enter the United States is clearly unavailable. More than half of our country`s governors have taken immediate action to prevent Syrian refugees from settling in their states. Our own intelligence community has expressed concerns about our capabilities to identify threats. The federal government has no greater responsibility than keeping Americans safe.`

Source: Senate Resolution proposed by 8 Senators 15-SR268 on Sep 24, 2015

Opposes more border security, according to CC survey.

Klobuchar opposes the CC survey question on border security

The Christian Coalition Voter Guide inferred whether candidates agree or disagree with the statement, 'Increase Border Security Including Additional Infrastructures ' Christian Coalition's self-description: "Christian Voter Guide is a clearing-house for traditional, pro-family voter guides. We do not create voter guides, nor do we interview or endorse candidates."

Source: Christian Coalition Surve 18CC-12 on Jul 1, 2018

Terminate national emergency at the Southern border.

Klobuchar voted YEA Joint Resolution on Proclamation 9844

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives: That the national emergency declared by the finding of the President on February 15, 2019, in Proclamation 9844 is hereby terminated.

Proclamation 9844 issued by the president on Feb. 15, 2019: Declares a state of national emergency at the southern border to address the issues of illegal immigration and criminal trafficking into the US: `The current situation at the southern border presents a border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency. The southern border is a major entry point for criminals, gang members, and illicit narcotics. The problem of large-scale unlawful migration through the southern border is long-standing, and despite the executive branch`s exercise of existing statutory authorities, the situation has worsened in certain respects in recent years. Because of the gravity of the current emergency situation, it is necessary for the Armed Forces to provide additional support to address the crisis.`

Opposing the Proclamation (supporting the Resolution), ACLU press release, 2/15/2019 The ACLU issued the following statement upon filing a lawsuit: `By the president`s very own admission in the Rose Garden, there is no national emergency. He just grew impatient and frustrated with Congress, and decided to move along his promise for a border wall `faster.` This is a patently illegal power grab that hurts American communities and flouts the checks and balances that are hallmarks of our democracy.`

Legislative outcome Passed House 245-182-5 roll #94 on Feb. 26; pass Senate 59-41 roll #49 on March 14; Vetoed by Pres. Trump; veto override failed, 248-181-3 (2/3 required), roll #127 on March 26

Source: Congressional vote 19-HJR46 on Feb 26, 2019

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

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

Legislative Summary:This 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

Sponsored bill to disallow religion-based immigration ban.

Klobuchar co-sponsored NO BAN Act

The National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act (NO BAN Act) imposes limitations on the President`s authority to suspend or restrict aliens from entering the US. It also prohibits religious discrimination in various immigration-related decisions, such as issuing a visa. The President may temporarily restrict the entry of any class of aliens after determining that the restriction would address specific and credible facts that threaten U.S. interests such as security or public safety.

GovTrack.us analysis (4/21/21): President Donald Trump instituted a travel ban on eight countries: Chad, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. The Supreme Court upheld the travel ban 5-4 in the 2018 decision†Trump v. Hawaii. Trump`s travel ban was popularly nicknamed `the Muslim ban` by its Democratic critics since most of the countries it applied to were majority Muslim, and because Trump as a 2016 candidate had indeed proposed a Muslim ban. Regardless, President Joe Biden rescinded the policy on his first day in office. Currently, federal law bans any person from being discriminated against when entering the U.S. on the basis of five characteristics: race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence. The NO BAN Act would add another category: religion.

Rep. Tom McClintock in OPPOSITION: President Trump invoked this authority against countries that were hotbeds of international terrorism and that were not cooperating with the US in providing basic information about travelers coming from these countries. The left called it a `Muslim ban.` What nonsense. Without this authority, the president would have been powerless to take simple, prudent precautions against terrorists and criminals from entering the US.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 218-208-3 on April 21, 2021, rollcall #127; introduced in Senate with 42 co-sponsors but no further Senate action during 2021.

Source: H.R.1333/S.1891 21-HR1333 on Feb 25, 2021

Other candidates on Immigration: Amy Klobuchar on other issues:
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