Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) on Thursday voiced support for chain migration for non-nuclear family members of so-called Dreamers.
At the Democratic presidential primary debate, Warren said the United States needs not only to increase legal immigration but also to legalize those brought to the country illegally as children, known as Dreamers. She went on to endorse the idea of chain migration for their grandparents, cousins, and others.
"I want to see us expand legal immigration and create a pathway to citizenship for our Dreamers, but also for their grandparents and for their cousins, for people who have overstayed student visas, and for people who came here to work in the fields," Warren said. "I want to have a system that is a path to citizenship that is fair and achievable."
Chain migration refers to the "chain of foreign nationals who are allowed to immigrate to the United States because citizens and lawful permanent residents are allowed to sponsor their non-nuclear family members," according to NumbersUSA, a non-profit that seeks to reduce immigration levels. The mechanism allows new U.S. nationals and green card holders to sponsor their parents, siblings, and adult children and their spouses.
The term Dreamers comes from the DREAM Act, which has been considered in Congress as a measure to offer residency to those brought into the country illegally, although it has not been passed. President Barack Obama instead offered a temporary stay on deportation orders for some qualifying Dreamers via his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order.
The Massachusetts senator also said the country must improve the situation at the southern border. She has previously called for abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), The Hill reported.
"We've got to rework this entirely. A system right now that cannot tell the difference in the threat posed by a terrorist, a criminal, and a 12-year old girl is not a system that is keeping us safer, and it is not serving our values," she said.