For Immediate Release
June 10, 2021
Assembly Progressive Caucus Chair Ash Kalra and Vice Chairs Release Statement in Response to Vice President Harris’ Remarks to Asylum Seekers
SACRAMENTO – Chair of the Assembly Progressive Caucus, Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), and Vice Chairs Assemblymember Carrillo (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblymember Santiago (D-Los Angeles), released the following statement after Vice President Harris told Guatemalans, "I want to be clear to folks in this region who are thinking about making that dangerous trek to the United States-Mexico border: Do not come. Do not come. The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our border:”
“Seeking asylum and refugee status is legal in the United States. People fleeing violence, persecution, human trafficking, or extreme poverty and who ultimately risk it all for a better life for themselves and their families have been part of the history and foundation of our nation. There is much work to be done to achieve comprehensive immigration reform that is tied to foreign policy and American influence in developing nations.
“It is disturbing to hear the Vice President visit a country in Central America, one that the United States has played a role in destabilizing, and tell struggling people not to seek asylum. It is a moral imperative to accept and welcome those seeking refuge at our shores and our borders. All people deserve respect, dignity, and compassion. As leaders of the Progressive Caucus, we strongly value inclusion and promoting human rights for all and urge the Administration to move away from this divisive and dangerous rhetoric and create a pathway for residency, citizenship, and humanitarian efforts that put people first.”
Assemblymember Ash Kalra was first elected to the California Legislature in 2016, representing the 27th District, which encompasses approximately half of San Jose and includes all of downtown. In 2020, he was re-elected to his third term. Assemblymember Kalra is the Chair of the State Assembly Labor and Employment Committee and also currently serves as a member on the Housing and Community Development, Judiciary, Transportation, and Water, Parks, and Wildlife committees.