A response from Sen. Tim Kaine on Obama’s use of executive action on immigration

A Minuteman Project reader took the time to visit our take action center and send a message directly to her Senator expressing her disagreement with Obama’s immigration executive fiat. Her representative, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), sent her the following response:

Dear [redacted]:

Thank you for contacting me about President Obama’s use of executive actions pertaining to immigration.  I appreciate hearing from you.

In June 2013, I voted for a permanent and comprehensive legislative proposal that would have significantly improved our nation’s broken immigration system.  The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, S. 744, passed the U.S. Senate on a bipartisan vote of 68-32.  If enacted, it would have strengthened border security, created a better system for companies to verify the immigration status of their employees, and improved visa programs to encourage highly-skilled immigrants to invest in the U.S.  And it would have created an earned pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who have grown roots in our communities following compliance with various requirements, including background checks, fines, taxes, and a return to the end of the line to apply for permanent legal status or citizenship.

The comprehensive immigration bill was a major compromise achieved by Democrats and Republicans working together.  Like any compromise, the bill included provisions deemed less than ideal for both sides.  But in the end, it offered an opportunity to finally fix our broken immigration system, create new jobs, and allow millions of undocumented immigrants to come out of the shadows.  Unfortunately, the House of Representatives did not vote on this important issue during the 113th Congress.

On November 20th, 2014 the President announced executive actions he was taking to help fix important parts of our immigration system.  The President’s executive actions grant temporary protections from deportation for undocumented immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens and who have lived in the U.S. for at least five years following compliance with background checks, fines, and taxes.  In addition, the executive actions will shift resources to prioritize the deportation of national security threats and serious criminals and enhance Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement efforts on the Southwest border.

I support the enactment of comprehensive immigration reform legislation that is encompassing and long-term.  I likewise acknowledge that the President retains legal authority to shape the enforcement and implementation of existing immigration laws, as previous Administrations, both Republican and Democratic, have done to provide temporary immigration relief for different groups of people since the 1950’s.  After more than 25 years since Congress last enacted immigration reform, I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass a permanent legislative solution that addresses the significant immigration challenges that we face.

Thank you again for contacting me.



Tim Kaine