On Immigration, McMahon Hasn’t Answered All Questions

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Bortolleto, right, and other protestors at McMahon's Bridgeport campaign office on Oct. 24. Photo: Brian Lockhart / CT.
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Linda McMahon, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate for Connecticut, has been relatively scant on details regarding her political stances, especially when it comes to immigration. After being silent on the issue for most of campaign season aside from a brief mention in an April debate when she said she would oppose the DREAM Act, McMahon has finally given a statement on her position on immigration. Her statement towed the standard Republican party line and mirrored Romney’s positions.

 

The release of this statement came as a result of undocumented students, including myself, rallying at her campaign offices in Bridgeport and Norwalk.  We urged Linda McMahon to clarify her positions on the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act and on immigration.  As we chanted, “No more silence! We want answers!” at our second attempt in Bridgeport last Wednesday, we were joined by Latino leaders from across Bridgeport.

 

Although McMahon is silent no longer, we continue to demand a clear answer on the DREAM Act. Although she issued a statement, her statement simply attempted to sound nice without saying much.

 

While the campaign indicated she supported the President’s recent executive action to stop the deportation of undocumented youth (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), she maintains a parallel position with GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney: “I believe that our immigration laws need to be reformed, but reform should be comprehensive and not continue to be done in a piecemeal fashion.” In addition, her statement calls for the U.S. to “fulfill and strengthen our commitments on border security and interior enforcement” and well as to enact E-Verify.

 

McMahon remains unclear on where she stands on the DREAM Act, which would offer undocumented youth brought to the U.S. at a young age a path to citizenship as long as they have graduated high school and go on to college or serve in the military.

 

“I support giving young people that are illegally here through no fault of their own and serve in the military a path to U.S. citizenship,” reads her statement, which leaves out the most important part of the DREAM Act – the education requirement.

 

The DREAM Act enjoys over a 90% approval rating amongst the Latino community, and is popular outside of the community as well; about 70% of American support it. And the DREAM Act isn’t just good for DREAMers: a recent study showed that passage of the DREAM Act would generate $329 billion by 2030.  This will lead to increased job creation for citizens and non-citizens alike, including those who live in Connecticut who care but are not personally impacted.

 

McMahon has tried to appeal to the Latino vote through her campaign visits and Spanish TV commercials, but it appears that she does not understand that immigration and the DREAM Act are issues that will determine who Latinos will pick in 2012. We don’t want a vague statement describing the standard Republican views; we want real answers. On immigration, Linda McMahon has not answered all the questions, and we deserve more.

 

Despite her recent ad campaign detailing  how she and President Obama are alike, McMahon mirrors Mitt Romney – supporting policies that are out of touch with most people on the ground.

 

 

Camila Bortolleto  is one of the founders of Connecticut Students for a Dream, a statewide organization of DREAMers and allies that seeks to empower undocumented students and their families by advocating for their rights and raising awareness about the issues they face.  Visit the organization’s website here.

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