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Former Illegal Immigrant Running For Congress, Supports Building The Wall

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The left didn’t see this one coming! Hope she flips the seat back to Red!

Michigan Live is reporting:

“Republican Whittney Williams said living as an undocumented migrant for most of her life gave her a unique view on why Congress should adopt pro-Trump immigration policies.

The 36-year-old Canton resident lived in the United States illegally after being brought from Taiwan at age 10. Williams said supporting stricter immigration policies like building a wall on the southern border will be a central part of her campaign to unseat a freshman Democrat who flipped counties Trump won in 2016.

“I think my story can help,” Williams said in an interview with MLive. “My story of believing in the American dream and wanting to give people hope and optimism. As an illegal immigrant, I came from nothing, and for me to to be where I am today, I’m just so grateful.”

Williams said her family legally entered the U.S. on a tourist visa in 1992 but remained in the country after it expired. Williams grew up as a non-citizen and remained an unlawful resident until marrying her husband Brian in 2009 and gaining citizenship in 2013.

Williams declined to answer whether her parents intended to permanently stay in the U.S. when they received a tourist visa.

“I was basically just put in a situation that I had no control over,” Williams said.

Why I'm Running

Congressional campaign announcement video for Whittney Williams (R) in Michigan's 11th Congressional District. Learn more at WinWithWhittney.com

Posted by Whittney Williams for Congress on Monday, August 19, 2019

People who overstay their visa face a steep path to obtaining legal residency, said Genevive Billa, public affairs officer for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. People who live in the U.S. illegally for more than a year are barred from applying for a green card or citizenship for 10 years, according to federal law, starting from when they willingly leave or are deported.

The first-time politician said she grew up in the shadows, fearing deportation could come from minor police interactions like a traffic stop.

“If someone knew (about your immigration status), if you told somebody, they could take advantage of you,” Williams said. “It’s a constant fear. And you’re constantly told, ‘oh you’re an illegal immigrant,’ not you know, human. That takes a toll on you as you hear that constantly.”

Growing up in a conservative household helped Williams develop a deep love for America. She even expressed interest in serving in the U.S. Navy but was rejected due to her immigration status.

Williams spent the last several years traveling the country working as an auto show product specialist. She earned an undergraduate degree in ballet and has also worked as a professional actor and model.

Williams said she is driven to run for office to make a positive impact on her community and be a voice for other people brought to the U.S. as children.

Gary Yang, president of the Michigan Chinese Conservatives Alliance, said Williams could be an important candidate for a growing but “invisible” Asian American voting bloc. Yang said new immigrants from Asia align with GOP values but often vote with Democrats and he’s pushing the state party to do more to court voters in his community.

“We want a small government and lower taxes, we want more fairness in the college admission system and workplace as well,” Yang said. “We want legal immigrants, not open border policies.”

Williams said the president is standing up for the American people and remains a supporter despite his divisive stances on immigration.

“We to be protected and for Trump to stand up for America; it’s a great thing,” she said. “I’m glad that he is wanting to solve this immigration problem.”

Williams said building a border wall is an important first step to “stop the flow” of illegal immigration. She didn’t commit to opening a path to citizenship for undocumented migrants already living in the country but expressed the need to find a “permanent solution” for them.

Williams acknowledged a wall wouldn’t stop families like her own from overstaying visas they obtained legally. However, she said a border wall would reduce the number of illegal immigrants who enter the country each year.

“When you look at a problem, of course, you want to stop it first so you can resolve what’s in here, because if you keep having this flow … this number here is just going to get bigger and bigger,” she said.

Williams said politicians essentially accomplished nothing to solve the country’s immigration issues. Meanwhile, she said Democrats incentivize illegal immigration with offers of “free stuff.”

Democratic primary candidates embraced providing health care for undocumented immigrants. Several of the top candidates also supported decriminalizing illegal border crossings.

Williams said her hardships growing up inspired her to support stricter immigration policies.

“They don’t understand how hard it is to live as an illegal immigrant, so you can’t come and tell me ‘oh, well it’s OK, just come and live here illegally,’” Williams said.”

Williams’ campaign Facebook account is here.

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