democrat

Kina Collins

Candidate for US House - 7th District

Candidate Q&A

Why are you running?

I’m running because the urgency of this moment, and the crises that we are facing demand urgency from our leaders. From the gun violence epidemic, to climate change, to the lack of grocery stores in our neighborhoods, our district is hurting. We need a leader who will fight for our district and prioritize these issues that most impact the community. I am running to be the leader that I know our district deserves. In the last primary nearly 50% of the district voted with me, I'm back this primary to finish what I started.

How has your district been impacted by the migrant crisis and what do you think should be done?

Throughout the past year, the 7th district of Illinois has borne the primary responsibility for accommodating the majority of migrants arriving in Chicago. Currently, we observe adjacent suburbs, such as Oak Park, IL, also absorbing a share of migrants. Similar to many other regions, we grapple with challenges in housing both families and individuals, and providing sufficient healthcare and education options for children and families.

First and foremost, there is a need for Democrats to regain control of the House. The current situation sees the GOP holding a slight advantage, leading to a gridlock in federal resources that could be utilized in our legal systems to expedite the processing of asylum applications. The quick processing of applications within our legal system will provide a clearer understanding of the actions required by cities and states.

It is crucial we persist in urging the Biden Administration to declare a state of emergency and allocate additional funding to municipalities. Local governments are currently grappling with addressing a federal issue using city budgets. This will not be sustainable, we need the federal government to act now.

Furthermore, while acknowledging that this is not a federal decision, I advocate for requesting Governor Pritzker to collaborate with surrounding municipalities outside of Chicago to address the challenges posed by the influx of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.

What do you think immigration reform in Congress should look like?

It is imperative to adopt an immigration policy prioritizing the well-being of individuals. The current circumstances necessitate such a shift, requiring not only an expansion of political will but also a broadening of our moral imagination. It is essential to reflect on the significance of immigration for our national identity and consider the kind of country we aspire to be.

I aspire to address the pressing need for an immigration framework that prioritizes the dignity and humanity of individuals arriving in our nation, whether seeking refuge, reuniting with family, or pursuing work opportunities. We must push for an immigration system rooted in compassion and empathy. Additionally, we must extend our support to immigrant communities beyond their legal status, advocating for more inclusive and accessible public institutions, as well as healthcare and education systems. This allows us to cultivate safer, healthier communities and create expanded opportunities for everyone.

Here are three key policies I would advocate for:

Passing a clean DREAM Act- Today, 800,000+ young people who were brought here as children are still uncertain what their future holds in the only country they’ve ever called home. Congress must act to permanently end the fear and uncertainty DREAMers live with every day, and I will advocate for the passage of a clean DREAM Act. Along with a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Support a Path to Citizenship- I support comprehensive reforms that will enable law-abiding immigrants to seek a path to citizenship. I also believe we must increase the number of visas available for skilled workers.

Fixing the legal process- We need to create a well-resourced and independent immigration court system Under Article 1 of the Constitution, outside the Department of Justice, to increase the hiring and retention of independent judges to adjudicate immigration claims faster. Increase access to legal assistance for individuals and families presenting asylum claims, ensuring individuals understand their rights and are able to make an informed and accurate request for asylum. we must also guarantee counsel for all children in the immigration enforcement system.

How important is bipartisanship to you and what issues have you worked on across the aisle or with people who don't uniformly share your beliefs?

In 2017, I listened to the perspective of hundreds of women in community focus groups across the state, which led to my involvement in co-authoring House Bill 5544 - The Illinois Council on Women and Girls Act.

This landmark council ensures that state policy and programming prioritizes the needs of women and girls and is centered on the voices of marginalized communities, including women of color and the transgender community.

Our efforts forged a diverse coalition of support statewide, persuading not only Republican legislators to vote in favor of the legislation but also pushing Republican Governor Bruce Rauner to do his job, he eventually signed the bill into law in the summer of 2018. It was through this experience of policy writing and talking with constituents that I knew I was battle-tested and ready to run for public office.

What action, if any, do you want to see next on abortion access after the Dobbs decision?

Democrats must immediately act to protect what's left of our rights. None of us can afford to be complacent, and none of us can have any doubt about what is at stake. It is Black and brown communities who will be punished first by state-level criminal abortion bans and we must protect everyone seeking care. From every elected leader to each Democratic voter, this is our moment to act. Vote out anti-choice politicians. Demand Congress not let procedural hurdles like the filibuster stand in the way of our fundamental freedoms again.

Here are immediate actions are leaders should take:

We must decriminalize reproductive healthcare on the federal level to ensure that healthcare providers and their patients are not incarcerated for seeking or providing abortion care.

We must repeal the Hyde Amendment to ensure that we can spend federal dollars to ensure low-income communities have funding for the care they need.

We need to continue funding clinics across the country to ensure that people can still get care in states that have protected our reproductive freedoms.

Did Joe Biden legitimately win the 2020 presidential race?

Yes

Should the United States provide Ukraine with money in its fight against Russia?

Yes

Should the United States provide Ukraine with aid in the form of military supplies?

Yes

Should the U.S. provide Israel with money in its fight against Hamas?

No

Should the United States provide Israel with aid in the form of military supplies in its fight against Hamas?

No

Should there be a law requiring background checks on all gun sales?

Yes

Should Congress pass a federal law banning semi-automatic assault-style weapons and large-capacity magazines to help address gun violence?

Yes