Kamala Harris Immigration
Kamala Harris has taken bold stances on a variety of immigration issues such as DACA, Sanctuary Cities, Employment-Based Visas and Family-Sponsored Visas. As Joe Biden’s pick for Vice President, her views are important and can have a major impact on the immigration system as a whole. So, let’s review Kamala Harris’ immigration record.
Kamala Harris is the child of immigrant parents. Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was born in India and came to the United States to study at Berkeley. Her father, Donald Harris, was born in Jamaica and also came to the U.S. to pursue higher education, eventually becoming an Economics professor at Stanford. Senator Harris also has routes in Canada. She lived in Montreal for 5 years and graduated from Westmount High in 1981. At the time, her mother was teaching at McGill University and doing research at the Jewish General Hospital.
Kamala Harris supports DACA. She has advocated for expanding the program by 1) eliminating the requirement that Dreamers apply before they turn 31 years-old; 2) raising the age at time of entry from 15 year-old and under to 17-years old and under; 3) allowing little Dreamers under 15 years-old to apply for protection with parental or guardian consent; 4) increasing the two-year term of DACA protection to three years; and 5) updating the cutoff date for entry into the United States. In addition, Harris has pushed for a “Dreamers Parole-in-Place Program” which would allow Dreamers who have a U.S. citizen spouse to apply for removal of a technical bar that prevents many from obtaining a Green Card.
Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act
Kamala Harris is the lead Democrat sponsoring the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act. The Act would eliminate the “per country” cap for employment-based immigrant visas and raise the “per country” cap for family-sponsored immigrant visas from 7% to 15%.
We must do more to eliminate discriminatory backlogs and facilitate family unity so that high-skilled immigrants are not vulnerable to exploitation and can stay in the U.S. and continue to contribute to the economy. I’m proud to join with Senator Lee on this bipartisan legislation to ensure that our country remains vibrant and dynamic. – Senator Harris
District Attorney, San Francisco
Senator Harris was San Francisco’s District Attorney from 2004 to 2011. At the time, the city was divided over its status as a sanctuary city and Harris had to take a position. She ultimately supported a policy requiring law enforcement to turn over undocumented immigrants to ICE if they were arrested and suspected of committing a felony.
As DA, she charged a construction contractor with four felony counts of grand theft for cheating workers out of their wages. At a news conference, she spoke about the immigration status of the victims. “If any one of us is a victim of crime, let’s be clear, the person who commits the crime will be punished, regardless of the status of the victim.”
Harris also supported issuing protective visas for undocumented immigrant victims of violent crimes and denounced a 2012 proposal that would criminalize living in the U.S. illegally and make helping undocumented immigrants a felony.
If Biden wins the upcoming election, look for Kamala Harris’ immigration views to shape the landscape moving forward.