Our immigrant communities across the 7th District and our nation are a critical part of what makes this country special. Most immigrants work here, pay taxes, and contribute immensely to our civic life, culture and economy. They should not live in constant fear of deportation and separation from their families – we need representatives in Congress who will fight for them.
Ayanna opposes any funding for a wall along our border with Mexico. She will demand a clean DREAM Act and will fight to reinstate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). We are a country founded by and made great by immigrants. Rather than demonizing immigrants, we should be working together on fair and comprehensive immigration reform that will enable law-abiding immigrants to seek a path to citizenship. Additionally, Ayanna will fight to make permanent the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the many TPS recipients contributing to communities across our country.
Ayanna has long supported the rights of the LGBTQ community to be treated fairly in partnership rights, in marriage and in equal treatment under the law. On the Boston City Council, she co-sponsored the Gender-based Discrimination and Hate Crimes bill, known as the Transgender Civil Rights Bill, co-sponsored a city ordinance that requires city health insurance to cover gender reassignment surgery, and held a hearing to examine the challenges facing LGBTQ youth of color in the city of Boston. Ayanna believes that equal rights for the LGBTQ community is non-negotiable.
Individuals who have been incarcerated often face tremendous obstacles when they are released, in terms of finding housing, securing employment, and accessing healthcare. Willfully ignoring these individuals is an admission that our criminal justice system is intended to be only punitive, and not rehabilitative. As we think about policies related to education, housing, and economic development, we must consider how we can include incarcerated individuals and those recently released, so that they are able to access stable housing and employment, significantly reducing the chance of recidivism.
As a sexual assault survivor herself, Ayanna has worked to raise awareness and address this issue throughout her career. And, in the wake of the #MeToo movement, she has also sought to examine sexual harassment policies and procedures within our political institutions, an effort she believes is long overdue in Congress. In fact, her first act on the city council addressed violence and trauma against girls and women. Ayanna continues to chair the Committee on Healthy Women, Families and Communities and will make this area of work a major focus in Congress.