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Immigrant Policy Maker Utilizes Her Personal Family Story to Push for Congressional Action

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Mazie K. Hirono today presided over a full Senate Judiciary Committee hearing examining President Obama’s executive order that will bring 5 million undocumented people in our country out of the shadows, including an estimated 7,000 individuals in Hawaii. The committee hearing highlighted the executive order’s impact on families, businesses, and American workers.

“This is not just some abstract discussion about legal theory. It is about real people and real families. It is about taking concrete steps toward making our families and our economy stronger,” said Senator Hirono. “It is about who we are as a country.”

As an immigrant who came to America as a small child with her family, Senator Hirono drew on her own experiences and shared her unique perspective at the hearing.

“My story is the story of millions. My mother brought me to this country when I was a young girl. While we had very little as immigrants, mom had a dream to provide a better life for our family. Many of these families come to the U.S. to pursue similar dreams, perhaps starting their own business or working to provide for their family in a safe community. Regardless of education or background or financial means, immigrants do best with their families around them,” said Senator Hirono. “Family is the cornerstone of our immigration system and the President’s commonsense plan helps keep families together.”

Please click here to watch Senator Hirono’s opening statement.

The President’s executive order will tighten border security, strengthen enforcement, and focus taxpayer dollars on getting violent criminals off our streets—not on deporting families. The action will help drive economic growth, cut the deficit, and support American businesses and workers. Individuals who qualify to stay in the U.S. will be required to pass tough background checks and pay taxes. There is well-established legal groundwork and historical precedent for President Obama’s action: every president since President Eisenhower has used the authority of his office to act on immigration.