LOUISVILLE – The Democratic candidate challenging Rep. Brett Guthrie in November wants amnesty for all immigrants who are living in the country illegally
Hank Linderman is challenging Guthrie, the Republican congressman who since 2009 has represented Kentucky’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes Bowling Green, Owensboro and Elizabethtown.
“I am calling for action to help the millions of undocumented people already working in our communities, serving in our military and raising families by granting amnesty,” Linderman said in a statement. Amnesty would be given for “qualified” immigrants living in the U.S. as of July 4, he said.
Linderman is also calling for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to be restructured and its mission refocused.
“The abuses we have seen, including family separations, extended incarcerations and even violent and sexual assault, must stop,” he said.
Linderman’s comments come amid a nationwide backlash against ICE after it was revealed that the Trump administration had a policy that separated immigrant children from their families at the border. In Louisville, groups have been calling to abolish ICE for weeks, protesting outside the ICE office downtown as well as at Louisville Immigration Court.
“We are a nation of immigrants,” Linderman said in the statement. “To deny this reality is to deny our nation itself.”
Lauren Gaydos, a spokeswoman for Guthrie, said the congressman opposes the “abolish ICE” movement and that he backs most Trump immigration policies.
“Congressman Guthrie has voted for immigration reform that reflects President Trump’s priorities: building the wall, fixing the ‘Dreamer’ issue, eliminating the diversity visa lottery, ending chain migration, and reuniting families,” Gaydos said.
By Thomas Novelly for USA TODAY
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