By Senator Tim Kaine, Vice-Presidential candidate of The Democratic Party.
Earlier this summer, I had a chance to meet with the Orellanas, a family from Bolivia who made a home in Virginia. As we spoke, they told me how terrified they were that their family would be torn apart because of their mixed status.
The Orellanas are one of so many families in America that were eligible for President Obama’s executive actions on immigration: DACA and DAPA. Rebeca, one of the two Orellana daughters who arrived in America as a child, is protected from deportation and able to pursue her dreams thanks to DACA. But for her parents, Wilson and Roxana, the future remains uncertain.
When we met, they were anxiously awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision on DAPA. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court’s deadlocked ruling has thrown millions of families like the Orellanas back into uncertainty.
We should be doing everything we can to keep families like theirs together – not threatening them with deportation or breaking them apart. After all, they’re our friends, neighbors and classmates. They enrich our communities and contribute to our economy.
Hillary Clinton and I will continue to defend DACA and DAPA, and we’ll do everything possible under the law create a straightforward system for folks with sympathetic cases to make their case and be eligible for deferred action too.
We’ve waited long enough. In our first 100 days in office, Hillary and I will put comprehensive reform legislation before Congress that will include a pathway to citizenship, better border security, and addressing family visa backlog. It will enable our country to be what it’s always been – a place where people from around the world can come to start new businesses, pursue their dreams, apply their talents to American growth and innovation.
This is a very different approach than what Donald Trump has proposed. Not only does he not support comprehensive reform, but he’s threatened to send out a deportation force to round up 16 million people and kick them out of our country. He even supports ending birthright citizenship – one of the basic American principles that if you’re born here, you belong here.
We must not allow Donald Trump to create a false image of immigrants, and tear down everything this country stands for.
There’s a saying I learned in Honduras: Adelante, no atrás.
We have our work cut out for us, but if Hillary and I have the honor of serving as your President and Vice President, we’ll keep pressing forward – not backward – and keep fighting to make the Am