Immigration reform


My family came to this country for the same reasons as many others: for opportunity and a place of refuge from persecution.

That’s the America that I know and love; a compassionate America that values and welcomes hard-working people who come here with big dreams and a simple wish for safety and opportunity. This is not a Republican or a Democratic issue. It is a human issue—and an economic issue—and we must do better.

– Dean Phillips

Dean’s plan

Both parties have failed to solve glaring problems with our immigration system, and too many politicians are using the issue to divide rather than unite us. Dean believes we need bipartisan, comprehensive and fair reforms to address our immigration challenges—which is why he took two bipartisan trips to the Southern border during last year’s humanitarian crisis, and is now co-chairing a bipartisan immigration reform working group in the hopes of inspiring long-overdue action. Dean wants to:

Protect children and keep families together

Dean was horrified by the Trump Administration’s family separation policy, the effects of which he witnessed with his own eyes. He will fight any future iteration of that policy, and work to ensure appropriate resources are available to adequately care for children and families at the border. Dean also cosponsored and voted for the American Dream and Promise Act, which creates a pathway to citizenship for children and young adults here under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) as well as those here on Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED).

Secure our borders with effective approaches

We need to stop criminals, gang members and terrorists from crossing our borders, but 21st-century threats require 21st-century technology. Rather than a coast-to-coast border wall, Dean supports giving law enforcement the technologies, tools and resources they need to prevent illegal border crossings, including surveillance cameras, drones and underground sensors. Dean also supports security and safety enhancements to our ports of entry, where the majority of illicit drugs and other trafficking occurs.

Create fair pathways to earned, legal citizenship

One of Dean’s proudest moments in Congress so far was working with Democrats and Republicans to ensure that Liberians here legally under DED – all of whom have called Minnesota home for over 20 years – were finally given a permanemt pathway to citizenship. Going forward, Dean believes any serious immigration plan must include an earned pathway to citizenship for otherwise law-abiding undocumented immigrants. Comprehensive reform should also include streamlining the naturalization system so those seeking to enter the U.S. legally don’t have to wait years for citizenship.

Ensure businesses have access to skilled workers when there’s a shortage

People come from all over the world for education and training at American universities. Upon graduation, many then return to their home countries only to compete against American business and economic interests. As a part of comprehensive immigration reform, Dean supports making it easier to keep highly skilled people in the U.S. so that businesses have access to specialized workers, particularly for jobs for which there aren’t enough Americans with the needed skills to fill open positions.

Prosecute and deport violent criminals

Dean believes that anyone who commits a serious or violent crime should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, without exception, and that those who are also undocumented immigrants should be deported after serving their time. Local law enforcement should be able to stay focused on addressing  those serious threats to public safety rather than being asked to also enforce federal immigration laws.

Let’s create change—together.

Join the DeanTeam—a diverse, committed team of neighbors who are creating change in communities across Minnesota’s Third District.

Whether you’d like to volunteer at an upcoming campaign event or lend a hand from home, there are always opportunities to make a meaningful difference.

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