Where I Stand
I have the honor of representing the most diverse ward in the District, which includes a large immigrant population. I believe that all people, regardless of their background or immigration status should be treated with dignity, and have access to the supports they need to build a life in the District. I take a firm stance against deportations that pull our families and communities apart, and regularly reiterate the importance of DC remaining a Sanctuary City.
What I've Done
Secured a total of $14 million to support workers excluded from supports during the pandemic, including undocumented residents.
Introduced legislation to decriminalize and create a regulatory structure for sidewalk vending, in partnership with vendors and advocates representing immigrant communities in Ward 1.
Authored the “Sense of the Council Supporting the Protection of Immigrant Families Resolution of 2019” calling upon Congress to enact legislation granting security and permanent legal status to residents living under the Temporary Protected Status program and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, including parents of United States citizens and recipients of these programs, to expand family-based legal immigration, and to ensure the prevention of the separation of families as a result of immigration status.
Co-introduced and passed the “Sanctuary Values Amendment Act of 2019” which limits the District’s cooperation with federal immigration agencies
Introduced and passed the Standby Guardian Amendment Act of 2019, which allows residents to designate a standby legal guardian for their children in case of detention or deportation.
Introduced, passed, and funded the Access to Justice for Immigrants Amendment Act of 2017, which would establish a permanent legal services fund for immigrants in the District.
- Authored a new law that makes it easier for immigrant families to renew their healthcare benefit through the District’s Alliance program, simplifying the certification process for many residents who are very recent immigrants or those who cannot establish legal presence in the United States.
- Introduced and passed the Federal Immigration Raids Resolution of 2016, which called for an end to ICE raids targeting Central American refugee youth and families. These raids threaten the safety, well-being, and human rights of residents.
- Led three “Know Your Rights” sessions for Ward 1 residents and students in collaboration with Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School, Central American Resource Center, Many Languages One Voice, Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition, and other community partners.
- Introduced and passed a unanimous resolution remembering Jewish refugees who were denied entry into the US during WWII and later perished in the Holocaust, a reminder of the tragedy that comes with refusing to welcome refugees and those seeking asylum from war and persecution.
- Co-introduced the Local Resident Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2017 to allow permanent legal residents of the District to vote in local elections.
- Introduced, passed, and funded the Study of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in Immigrant Communities Act of 2017. The act creates a comprehensive study to evaluate the mental health impact of federal government immigration threats and what is needed to improve and treat mental health and substance abuse in the District’s immigrant populations.