Interview with Betsy Londrigan - May 3, 2018

Betsy Londrigan answers our questions

1) If given the opportunity to work on a permanent solution to our immigration policy, what would your solution be?

Fair, humane, doable, that’s how I would weigh it. Is a pathway to citizenship fair and doable? I would never support a false pathway, e.g., hurdles that are unreasonable. It has to be a reasonable pathway. Family reunification is important, must make the pathway for people to come here. Are immigrants important to our nation? Yes. I wouldn’t be here, my parents wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for immigration.

2) Do you support a path to citizenship for children, DACA or not, who were brought to this country at a very young age by undocumented parents?

100% yes.

3) Immigration should not be a political football–real people are being hurt, real families are being torn apart–but we realize the 13th district is fairly rural. Are you willing to take on this issue in our fairly rural district? [When she seems not sure what we’re getting at, Terry mentions the “tribal” nature of politics today.]

Re “tribal,” that’s not what I hear. What people in our district tell me is they want to know where I stand on border security. I say, yes, we need border security for all our borders, north, south, east, and west. Not a wall, that’s ridiculous. If we focus solely on the southern border, that’s unfair. We must look north and at our ports. That’s where drugs and human trafficking are coming through. And regarding unaccompanied minors, how does government make sure they’re not taken advantage of?

4) What is the appropriate response by individual elected officials and/or Congress itself to the rise of anti-Semitism and hate groups in the US? How far and public are you youreself willing to go to publicly condemn hate speech, even if it’s from political leaders?

If comments are offensive, racist, I would call them out for what they are. I’m not afraid to say so. It’s fear-based, ignorance. When politicians are doing it, it’s purposeful, it’s divide and conquer. We must always find what unites us. We need to focus on what pulls us together.

5) What is your position regarding the current deportation policies of ICE?

It’s frightening what they’re doing to law-abiding immigrants, detaining them, not letting their families know where they are. It disregards our history as a nation. They have crossed a line. The solution starts with a path to citizenship, giving people the pathway. That’s where it all starts, otherwise they’re forced into the shadows. Right now, what ICE is doing is not a policy, but a mandate from the Trump administration.

6) Your position on continuing to allow unaccompanied minors to cross our border to apply for asylum, live here legally during the process, and apply for citizenship.

They wouldn’t leave their homes if their homes weren’t in the mouth of a shark. We should welcome them and keep them safe, but how do we keep them safe and safe from being exploited?