Mazie’s life changed when she was nearly eight years old. Her mother Laura fled an abusive marriage in Japan to bring her children to the United States in search of a better life. It wasn’t easy, but they worked hard and built a life for themselves in America. Her experience growing up as an immigrant in this country continues to motivate and influence her fight for a fair, compassionate, and understanding immigration system.
Like so many immigrant families, Mazie grew up in a multigenerational household. She knows that keeping families together is critically important. That is why she has fought so hard to preserve family unity as a guiding principle in our country’s immigration policies, and against attempts to demonize family reunification as “chain migration.” Mazie has been a powerful and consistent voice in the Senate on behalf of DREAMers and has fought back against the Trump administration’s cruel and unnecessary decision to end the DACA program. Mazie also called on the Supreme Court to uphold the DAPA program for parents of DREAMers and keep families together.
As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mazie took a lead role during the debate on Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2013. Mazie fought to include several provisions important for families in Hawaii and across the country – including one to ensure our immigration policies would be fair to women. Mazie helped establish a mobile biometrics program so residents on the Neighbor Islands can apply for immigration benefits without having to travel to Oahu.
Mazie co-sponsored legislation to ban immigration restrictions based on religion, and spoke out against the demonization of immigrants during the debate and implementation of the Trump administration’s Muslim ban.