Kamala Harris on Immigration

Democratic candidate for President; California Senator


Welcome refugees and immigrants, instead of a border wall

The State of the Union has always been a chance for our President to rise above politics and unite the country with a vision that includes ALL Americans.

We need our leaders to speak the biggest truth of all: In the face of powerful forces that have been trying to sow hate and division among us, the truth is that as Americans we have much more in common than what separates us.

Let's fight for an America where we welcome refugees and immigrants, and where we fight for the dignity of all people-- no matter who they are, no matter what they look like or how they identify.

I want you all to listen closely [to Trump's State of the Union]. When you hear claims that our problems would all be solved if we just built a wall on our southern border, don't forget the babies ripped from their mothers' arms and the refugees fleeing violence who are being turned away.

The strength of our union has never been found in the walls we build. It's in our diversity and our unity--and that is our power.

Source: Democratic prebuttal to the 2019 State of the Union speech , Feb 5, 2019

Re-examine ICE & start from scratch

Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls , Jan 21, 2019

$3M to get lawyers for children from Northern Triangle

In the summer of 2014, an unprecedented surge of tens of thousands of children and adolescents fled the violence of the Northern Triangle through human smuggling networks that brought them to the United States.

In Murrieta, California, several buses carrying roughly 140 undocumented children and parents were on their way to a processing center. A crowd had gathered, blocking the street, waving flags & signs & yelling "Nobody wants you!" "You're not welcome!" "Turn around and go back home!" There were children inside the buses. Their only wrong was that they had fled horrific violence.

I had to do something about this. I sponsored legislation to provide $3 million to other nonprofits that were providing these children with legal representation.

Source: The Truths We Hold, by Kamala Harris, p.168-70 , Jan 8, 2019

Zero tolerance is inhumane: end child separation

On April 6,2018, Attorney General Sessions announced a zero-tolerance policy at the border, meaning that the administration would refer for criminal prosecution any adult crossing the border illegally, regardless of the reason, and that this could include separating children from their parents.

There are a few things more cruel, more inhumane, more fundamentally evil than ripping a child from her parent's arms. The administration claimed that it wouldn't separate families seeking asylum if they arrived at an official port of entry, as opposed to other parts of the border. But that didn't hold true. Many documented cases of family separation at ports of entry.

Source: The Truths We Hold, by Kamala Harris, p.170-2 , Jan 8, 2019

Border wall sends the message "KEEP OUT"

A wall on the border with Mexico was a total waste of taxpayer money. I am a strong believer in border security--but experts agree that a wall will not secure our border.

But there was a bigger reason to oppose the border wall. A useless wall on the southern border would be nothing more than a symbol, a monument standing in opposition to not just everything I value, but to the fundamental values upon which this country was built. The Statue of Liberty is the monument that defines to the world who we are. Emma Lazarus's words--"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free"--speak true to our true character: a generous country that respects and embraces those who have made the difficult journey to our shores, often fleeing harm. How could I vote to build what would be little more than a monument, designed to send the cold, hard message "KEEP OUT"?

Source: The Truths We Hold, by Kamala Harris, p.164-5 , Jan 8, 2019

No border wall in any comprehensive bill

Harris voted against a Senate immigration bill backed by centrists from both parties earlier this month. She argued that while the bill would provide a pathway to citizenship for young immigrants who entered the country illegally, it was a step too far because of the inclusion of money for President Trump's wall on the Mexican border, and that she could not support it in good conscience.

"While this bill would put Dreamers on a pathway toward citizenship, the appropriation of $25 billion for a border wall is a waste of taxpayer money," she said. "A wall will not secure our border and I remain concerned those billions of dollars may also be used to implement this Administration's anti-immigrant agenda--one that targets California and its residents."

Those close to Harris maintain that Harris has felt passionately for years about [immigration issues]. In particular, they say protecting dreamers has been her top priority since she was elected to the Senate.

Source: Amie Parnes in The Hill on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Feb 26, 2018

An undocumented immigrant is not a criminal

California's chief law officer, Attorney General Kamala Harris, declared this week, "an undocumented immigrant is not a criminal." Illegally entering and remaining in the country is a federal crime. However, many of these "undocumented immigrants" are not being prosecuted under the current administration.

Harris is implying in her words that these foreign nationals are not persistent criminals: "I'm a career prosecutor. I've personally prosecuted everything from low-level offenses to homicides. Unfortunately, I know what crime looks like. I know what a criminal looks like who's committing a crime. An undocumented immigrant is not a criminal."

Source: Breitbart.com coverage of 2015 California Senate race , Apr 18, 2015

Provide lawyers and evidence for children being deported.

Harris 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

    Other candidates on Immigration: Kamala Harris on other issues:
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    Page last updated: Jun 03, 2019