"America was built by the contributions of immigrants, and our diversity only adds to the greatness of this country. As a U.S. Senator, I will advocate for comprehensive immigration reform that treats immigrants fairly and gives them a path to earned citizenship." - Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Senator
Creating Opportunities for Immigrants
Immigrants participate in all sectors of the American labor force, helping to spur innovation and working in jobs that grow our economy. Immigrants add over $1 trillion to total United States gross domestic product (GPD) and undocumented immigrants alone contribute over $10 billion in state and local taxes each year. New York is home to almost five million immigrants, and immigrant entrepreneurs have generated billions of dollars in business income. Senator Gillibrand is committed to working to fix America's immigration system and treat all immigrants and workers with respect. She has called for comprehensive immigration reform to create a real path to citizenship, and supported the bipartisan Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, which passed the Senate in 2013.
Hundreds of thousands of young people have benefited from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program since it was announced by the Obama Administration in 2012. DREAMers have gone on to receive high school and college degrees, and contribute to the American economy through employment and paying taxes. Senator Gillibrand is a co-sponsor of the Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy (BRIDGE) Act, bipartisan legislation that protects more than 700,000 undocumented youth and adults who have had the opportunity to work and obtain their education, pursue their dreams, and benefit their communities since 2012. Senator Gillibrand believes in protecting the provisional protected status available to current DACA recipients, who only know the United States as their home, and will continue to work to ensure that DACA eligible individuals are able to apply for continued provisional status.
Protecting Immigrants and their Families
Immigrants and their descendants contribute to the social fabric of our nation, and Senator Gillibrand supports efforts to ensure that immigrant families feel at home in their local communities. The Trump Administration has directed the Department of Homeland Security to change their immigration enforcement priorities to focus on wider swaths of America’s immigrant population, leaving many more families vulnerable to separation. The threat of deportation creates fear in immigrant communities and can destabilize families. Senator Gillibrand has called on the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that children of deported parents are receiving the care and services they need, and she will continue to fight against efforts to separate children from their parents because of the Administration’s actions.
Supporting Refugees and Vulnerable Immigrant Populations
Senator Gillibrand is committed to initiatives that protect individuals fleeing persecution, that provide legal and social services for children who seek refuge in the United States, and that end prolonged detention of asylum seekers. Taking in refugees is not only the right thing to do, it also helps to make our country safer from terrorist threats and shows millions around the globe that America cares for children and families facing strife and oppression. Senator Gillibrand supports funding for critical refugee programs through the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of State. These programs further the United States’ ongoing efforts to support international humanitarian and displacement assistance.
Senator Gillibrand has supported Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for individuals from Ecuador, Guinea, Haiti, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The TPS program has saved many lives, and Senator Gillibrand opposes any attempts to get rid of the TPS program and deny refugees the protected status they need following devastation from war, disease, or natural disasters in their home countries.
Senator Gillibrand also supports programs that protect tens of thousands of immigrant victims and vulnerable youth and, in many instances, make it possible for perpetrators of abuse to be prosecuted.