(Content from this post was also submitted as a Letter to the Editor to the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press)
On Tuesday, Rep. Erik Paulsen was re-elected to his seat in the U.S. House for a fourth term. I will hold off on applauding his victory in order to voice my concerns with an important issue that is sure to come up during this Congressional session.
This past May, I committed to pray for reform on immigration policy. Through this commitment, I sent e-mails to all of my political representatives regarding this commitment. I received a response from Rep. Paulsen, which stated that he supported immigration reform. However, his vote on DACA at the end of July ran counter to his stated support for reform. Rep. Paulsen chose to vote with the Republican Party instead of standing by his stated beliefs.
I am a constituent of Rep. Paulsen, and this duplicity was one major reason that I did not vote for him. This term, I challenge Rep. Paulsen to stand by what he has said when he votes, especially on immigration.
This is a copy of the e-mail I received
May 14, 2014
Brooklyn Park, MN 55443-XXXX
Thank you for letting me know of your support for reforming our immigration system.
America’s immigration system is broken and outdated. Our current policy is hurting our economy, separating families, and locking out the next generation of innovators. It is important that Congress come together to find a bipartisan solution that modernizes our immigration system and makes legal immigration the best and only option.
Adding more skilled and educated workers is one of the fastest ways to boost the economy and keep America competitive. I am the author of a bill that would keep more high skilled workers in the U.S. by granting green cards to foreign-born individuals who earn a Ph.D. in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields at an American University.
In addition to more high skilled workers, we also need to address openings in low skilled jobs by increasing the number of visas for permanent or seasonal farm workers and creating a guest-worker program. This would give employers more certainty that they have the labor they need, as well as give workers the workplace protections many undocumented agricultural workers currently don’t have. With more than 10,000 people retiring each day, it is crucial that we attract the hardest workers and brightest minds in the world, so that we can continue to grow our economy and allow more people to achieve the American dream.
While there are some disagreements on some aspects of immigration reform, I am hopeful that we can come together to give business and families certainty about the future. I have and will continue to meet with constituents throughout the district to hear about their priorities and views on immigration reform.
Thanks again for sharing your concerns, as I appreciate hearing from you. Please let me know whenever I can be of assistance.
Member of Congress