Mike Mullen and Lori Trahan. COURTESY PHOTOS

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Third District Congressional Candidates Voice Opinions on Immigration

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In an effort to help voters decide which candidate to select in the Nov. 6 election, WestfordCAT News is asking a question each week of those candidates who will represent Westford. The responses below come from Independent candidate Mike Mullen of Maynard, and Lori Trahan of Westford, the Democratic nominee for the Third District Congressional seat spanning approximately 776 square miles across 37 cities and towns in Middlesex, Essex, and Worcester counties. The current population of the Third District is approximately 735,500 people.

Trahan and Mullen are competing with Republican Rick Green of Pepperell, who did not respond to this request for comment.

Rick Green. COURTESY PHOTO

Rick Green did not respond to a request for comment. COURTESY PHOTO

 

QUESTION OF THE WEEK  The Trump administration has focused heavily on immigration, discouraging immigrants from crossing the border and pledging to build a wall. Please state your position on immigration in this country.

Mike Mullen, Independent candidate for the Third District Congressional seat. COURTESY PHOTO

Mike Mullen, Independent candidate for the Third District Congressional seat. COURTESY PHOTO

MIKE MULLEN – Maynard Independent

Immigration is a critical part of America’s DNA. Like many families, mine has relatively recent ties to immigration as my mother’s parents immigrated to Boston from Ireland. To ensure that immigrants continue to be a positive economic and cultural engine for growth, we need to enact comprehensive reform. This should be a priority because today many are using immigration to divide us. New immigration laws should address modernization, enforcement and a path to citizenship to allow the country to heal and move forward.
A good starting point would be The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.  Massachusetts’ focus on higher education positions us to thrive in a modernized system where foreign students with contemporary skills are encouraged to stay and help fuel our economic and cultural progress. If we are not able to address comprehensive reform right away I support moving forward with a permanent solution for those residents who are covered by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). These individuals were not involved in the decision to come to the United States and are as American as any native-born citizen.

Lori Trahan. COURTESY PHOTO

Lori Trahan. COURTESY PHOTO

LORI TRAHAN – Westford Democrat

Our system is broken and Congress has failed in its job to fix it. I will work for comprehensive immigration reform — improving border security and creating a path to citizenship for Dreamers and undocumented immigrants who work hard, pay their taxes and want nothing more than to be American citizens.

We are a nation of laws and we need to ensure that all of our borders are secure, but we are also a country of immigrants. We need to evaluate our system for asylum seekers. We need to treat people humanely and put an end to family separations. We need to pass reform that is tethered to our American values. We’ve seen Democrats and Republicans work together on this issue like Senators Ted Kennedy and John McCain in 2005. I believe with new leaders in Washington, we can get back to work and fix the system.