SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A Utah lawmaker is back in town after she took a trip to the Mexico border to learn more about immigration policy.
Representative Karen Kwan (D- Murray), says she witnessed firsthand what it’s like for people trying to seek asylum.
“It’s frustrating. It’s intentionally confusing to discourage people from coming to America,” the District 34 representative said.
Kwan spoke with ABC4’s Brittany Johnson about her quest to learn more about policies and how it impacts her constituents.
“The story here in Utah is the fear of being deported. Even our residents with permanent residency status are threatened with deportation.”
Kwan says the policies are complex, confusing and there’s no clear process.
“So many of my constituents are immigrants, but even more so, most of my constituents come from immigrant families and we all need to feel safe.”
In trying to seek clarification for people in her district, Kwan says she has reached out to local U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents but has yet to hear back.
“I did. I tried. I’m still trying. I’m still trying to get a meeting with our local ICE agency to ask the questions: What is the policy? What is the process?”
A descendant of Chinese immigrants herself, Kwan says because of what she witnessed at the border, along with constant fear in her community, she’s pushing for comprehensive immigration reform.
“The bottom line for me is to make sure that we as America are creating an atmosphere that is not violating any human rights, and without transparency, we don’t know.”
ABC4 did reach out to ICE for comment on this story. The agency did not respond at the time of publication.
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