Dean’s Priority: 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. Dean believes we need bipartisan, comprehensive and fair reforms to address our immigration challenges, which will help reduce the deficit and support businesses. In the near term, Dean supports extending DACA protections and passing the DREAM Act, without strings attached, to protect young people who were brought here as children. Here’s what he will work to do:

Secure our borders with effective approaches

We need to stop criminals, gangs and terrorists from crossing our borders, but 21st-century threats require 21st-century technology — not an ineffective border wall that will add over $100 billion to our deficit by 2028. Dean supports giving law enforcement the technologies, tools and resources they need to combat illegal border crossings, such as surveillance cameras, drones and underground sensors, so we can prevent anyone who poses a threat to our country from crossing at all.

Create fair pathways to earned, legal citizenship

Unlike politicians who use immigration to scare, divide and score political points, Dean will advocate for bipartisan immigration reform that secures our borders and provides an earned pathway to citizenship for otherwise law-abiding, undocumented immigrants who work hard and pay taxes. Comprehensive reform should include streamlining the naturalization system so those who work to enter the U.S. legally don’t have to wait decades 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 undocumented immigrants should be deported after serving their time. Local law enforcement should be focused on stopping the real threats to public safety — violent crime, gangs and terrorists — rather than enforcing federal immigration law.


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PO Box 741, Excelsior, MN 55331