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Lisa Brown weighs in on immigration, open borders, the travel ban and more in a letter to the editor 

click to enlarge Washington state 5th Congressional District Democratic candidate Lisa Brown at a campaign event in May. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Washington state 5th Congressional District Democratic candidate Lisa Brown at a campaign event in May.

Recently, an Inlander article had some fun with my answers to a few questions on the immigration debacle being exacerbated by the failure of GOP leadership in Congress. I had expected to connect with the Inlander again once the GOP immigration bills were made public to discuss them in more detail. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, so I’d like to respond here instead.  If I were in Congress, here's how I would approach these issues:

  • I would have voted against the inhumane and unworkable Goodlatte bill, which failed, as it should have.
  • I would have voted against the so-called “compromise” bill, which was a failed attempt by the House leadership team, including Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, to reconcile two factions of her caucus, but did not in fact include any bipartisan or bicameral input.
  • I could support a version of the McCain-Coons immigration bill, which would give a path forward for Dreamers, address some border security and workforce visa issues, but avoid billions in wasteful spending on a border wall.
  • Now that broader bills have failed, Congress should immediately pass the DREAM Act, which a majority of Americans support, and statutorily end family separation of asylum seekers.
  • I also believe that any comprehensive immigration bill must address agricultural workforce issues. I would like to hear from eastern Washington employers regarding their views on the e-Verify system and I do not support Rep. Dan Newhouse’s amendment, which would allow workers to live here for years in a non-citizen status, but only if they stay in the agricultural sector.
  • I do not support the administration’s travel ban and I believe there should be accommodation for family-based and economy-based legal immigration. With input from stakeholders and working with allies who also accept refugees, we can learn what the right level of legal immigration and acceptance of international refugees should be.
  • I do not support open borders. I would solicit input from border communities (north as well as south), law enforcement and immigrant rights groups to determine appropriate technologies and workforce levels for minimizing smuggling and illegal entry.
We all know the challenges which immigration presents, and the only way to solve them is to work together for common-sense, bipartisan reform. I’m ready to do my part, and I believe the voters of Eastern Washington are, too.

LISA BROWN
Candidate for Congress

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