In Virginia’s 8th congressional district, we thrive on diversity. The previous president’s nativism and racist treatment of immigrants and refugees was a national embarrassment which I strongly opposed in Congress. He believed in using intentional cruelty and abuse to prevent would-be immigrants from wanting to come to this country, a policy informed by bigotry, but also by ignorance of the dire conditions that cause so many to seek a better life for themselves and their families in the United States.

I have traveled to the Northern Triangle of Central America and met with leaders there. I’ve met with community leaders, business leaders, and immigration advocates in Northern Virginia, so many of whom talk about the contributions we depend on from immigrants in our region, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. I’ve met with (and fought for) a mother who was separated from her children and deported for a minor infraction, and spoken with tearful fathers who had their children ripped out of their arms at the border. I believe there are better, smarter ways to address immigration that do not betray our core values as Americans.

That is why I support a humane approach to immigration that treats people with dignity while advancing our national interest. That should begin with comprehensive immigration reform, which I have long supported. In the House, I voted for H.R. 6, to enable many Dreamers to get lawful permanent resident status for 10 years. That bill would also protect those who have Temporary Protective Status, which includes many Northern Virginians. I also helped pass the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act in the House, legislation which would remove per-country caps for employment-based visas, and instead issue them on a first-come, first-serve basis. And I voted for the Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection Custody Act, which ensures appropriate medical and health standards for individuals in Customs and Border Protection care.

I will continue working toward reasonable and compassionate solutions as we continue to recover from the awful immigration policies of the previous president.