Kit Cramer talks immigration with NC Influencer Series

September 24, 2018

In an effort to elevate policy discussions and make sure candidates focus on the most important issues, the Charlotte Observer, The News & Observer, and the Durham Herald-Sun assembled a panel of 60 influential North Carolinians in advocacy, business, education and government to answer bi-weekly questions.

Our Chamber President Kit Cramer was selected and, of course, jumped at the opportunity to amplify the business voice of WNC and the greater state. For the past month, she has answered questions on the economy, political polarization, and healthcare–and will continue to speak about issues alongside NC’s finest and most prominent leaders.

Last week’s Influencer Series discussed immigration-related legislation, such as DACA. Below are Kit’s responses.

1. What is the single most important thing that needs to happen in immigration reform?

The single most important thing we can do to address effective immigration reform would be to find a way to beef up our guest worker program. That way, America gets the talent it needs and the immigrant gets the opportunity to provide for their family. A program that is flexible and easy-to-use for both the immigrant and businesses who could sponsor participants would be ideal.

2. How should the US government handle families seeking asylum at the US-Mexico border?

When a family arrives at the US-Mexico border seeking asylum, the US government should use case workers and electronic monitoring to keep track of applicants. They should not separate families, nor should they detain them. Instead, they should work with communities and non-profits to get them placed while their cases are being assessed. It is a lot less expensive and a lot less damaging to children.

3. Readers wanted us to ask you: Do you support a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients? Why or why not?

I support a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients for the primary reason that we need their talent. Nationwide, we have about 1.3 million Dreamers. Collectively they earn $19.9 billion in total income each year and contribute more than $3 billion in taxes. They were brought here as children. We have already invested in their education. We should develop a way to allow them to become full -fledged, productive citizens.

4. Please rate how well the 2018 candidates are doing in focusing on policy solutions. We will ask this question on every survey to track any change in sentiment between now and November.

Too soon to tell.