“We should embrace our country’s rich history of immigration, not turn our back on it. My wife Lilianna is a first-generation American born in Vietnam, and I know very well the sacrifices immigrant families make in order to provide better lives for their children. Rather than demonize immigrants, we should embrace their can-do spirit and their commitment to America.“
- Bryan Townsend
Immigrants make incredible contributions to our communities as business owners, entrepreneurs, religious leaders, activists, and neighbors. Foreign-born Delawareans make up more than 10 percent of our state’s labor force and play a critical role in growing our economy. Many have lived here for years in the shadows, even though we have all known of their community contributions.
Bryan has focused on immigration at the state level and will continue to be a leader at the federal level. In 2015 he championed the successful effort to create a driving privilege card for undocumented Delawareans, making our roadways safer for all drivers and encouraging commerce. As the lead sponsor of the legislation, Bryan helped build a diverse coalition, including Hispanic leaders, police, Republicans, Democrats, the Department of Transportation, and other community leaders. After the tragic Paris attacks, when some called for us to freeze the screening process for Syrian refugees fleeing a war-torn country, Bryan spoke out forcefully saying, “we should not turn our back on refugees in dire need.”
Although Bryan and other state and local leaders have worked on solutions to help undocumented immigrants integrate into our communities, only Congress can fix our broken immigration system. Bryan supports comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship. He believes we should promote legal immigration as an economic development tool, so that hard-working and talented individuals can more easily and permanently contribute to our economy and communities. In supporting common-sense immigration reform, Bryan will speak out against inhumane and counterproductive policies that tear families apart. He will fight for bipartisan plans that hold true to America’s long-standing values and point us in a more productive, sustainable direction.