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Public Statements

Issue Position: Immigration

Issue Position

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"America was built by the contributions of immigrants and our diversity only adds to the greatness of this country. As a Senator I will advocate for comprehensive immigration reform that treats immigrants fairly and gives them a path to earned citizenship." -Kirsten Gillibrand - U.S. Senator

Creating Opportunities for Immigrants

Senator Gillibrand knows that our current immigration system is broken. That is why she has called for comprehensive immigration reform and plans to work with President Obama and his Administration for substantial reforms.

Senator Gillibrand supports creating a real path to citizenship with strict accountability.

We must uphold America's security and the rule of law, while working to right-size our immigration system to unite families and provide the hard working people needed by our farms and businesses. Senator Gillibrand will work closely with the Obama Administration to fix America's immigration system and treat all immigrants and workers with respect.

Provide Education and Resources to Succeed

Every student deserves the opportunity to achieve his or her God given potential. Current law is unfairly punishing thousands of young people who have spent nearly their entire lives in this country. America is the only home many of them know, yet they are being denied the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

That is why Senator Gillibrand is a co-sponsor of the DREAM Act. This legislation says that if they work hard and play by the rules, then they will have the opportunity to get a good education and earn their way to legal status.

The DREAM Act would make college more affordable for immigrant students and their families by repealing outdated regulations that effectively deny in-state tuition and other higher education benefits to immigrant students and puts students 16 years old or younger on a path for citizenship upon acceptance to higher education or high school graduation.

Every newcomer to America knows that to secure economic opportunity, support their children and gain citizenship, they need to be able to speak English. Senator Gillibrand does not support dangerous English-only policies and voted against Republican efforts in the House of Representatives to make student financial aid and IRS forms available in English only.

Senator Gillibrand believes that English is a unifying language and can provide important economic opportunity for workers and entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, many workers want to improve their language skills, but businesses simply can't afford to grant them time and resources to gain these desired skills.

This is why Senator Gillibrand is working on legislation to provide businesses with tax credits if they provide English as a second language programs to their employees; incentivize teachers with tax credits when they teach ELL; and authorize more funding for such instruction.

Treat All Immigrants with Respect, Ending the Home Raids

Until we can find consensus on a strategy for reform, Senator Gillibrand says we must treat all immigrants as human beings and respect their civil rights. That is why she is urging Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to bring an immediate end to illegal, warrantless home raids.

Immigration reform will not be easy, but it is essential that our country recognize the important role all immigrants play in our economic prosperity. Treating illegal immigrants as political pawns is an affront to our national story and an assault on our economy.

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