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Tina Smith on Immigration

 

 


Extend DACA before 800,000 Dreamers face deportation

Lt. Governor Tina Smith and community advocates urged the US Congress to support the passage of the Dream Act before the end of the year. Without Congressional action, more than 800,000 individuals brought to this country as children will lose their legal status on March 5, 2018.

"Dreamers are our friends, neighbors, and family members. Dreamers enrich our communities and help create opportunity for all of us, and we want them here," said Lt. Governor Smith. "The futures of thousands of Minnesotans hang in the balance. We urge Congress to protect Minnesota Dreamers from deportation from the only country many of them have ever known."

Since DACA was introduced, nearly 800,000 young people have been screened and approved, including nearly 6,300 individuals in Minnesota. A survey found that 95% of them were currently employed or enrolled in school. It is estimated that removing DACA eligible-workers from the state would cost Minnesota's economy an estimated $387 million a year.

Source: 2017 Gubernatorial press release, "Dream Act" , Nov 29, 2017

Opposes more border security, according to CC survey.

Smith 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.

Smith 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.

Smith 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

Other candidates on Immigration: Tina Smith on other issues:
MN Gubernatorial:
Amy Klobuchar
Chris Coleman
Erin Murphy
Jeff Johnson
Lori Swanson
Mark Dayton
Matt Dean
Rebecca Otto
Tim Pawlenty
Tim Walz
Tina Liebling
MN Senatorial:
Amy Klobuchar
Jason Lewis
Jim Newberger
Karin Housley
Paula Overby
Steve Carlson

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Page last updated: Oct 28, 2020