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Williamson Talks Immigration During Concord Campaign Stop

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson made a stop by the Statehouse in Concord on Wednesday as she wrapped up her latest campaign swing through New Hampshire.

After receiving a special greeting from members of the House of Representatives, the best-selling writer-turned-politician took in some of the festivities marking Cultural Heritage and Arts Day, which was being celebrated on the Statehouse lawn.

Williamson, a Democrat from California, enjoyed a song from an acapella choir directed by Peggo Hodes, wife and musical partner of Paul Hodes. The former Congressman also happens to be serving as a senior advisor for Williamson’s 2020 candidacy.

With the choir serving as a soundtrack, Williamson sat down on a bench to talk about her immigration proposals, which she released earlier this week.

The spiritual author is calling for a “civilized path to citizenship” for undocumented people, as well as an end to family separation and better treatment of migrants arriving from Central  America.

“We are criminalizing behavior that is not criminal. Seeking asylum is a statutory right. It is not a crime,” says Williamson.

She also describes President Trump’s handling of the Southern border issue as a moral failure, built on a “deeply racist, deeply un-American” viewpoint.

“Is this what you want America to be? Because we are not just talking about policy. We are talking about transgression against the underpinnings- the values- that are what truly make this country great. This country cannot be great if this country is not good,” she said.

Williamson said her immigration platform is shaped, in part, by the experience of her own family, including a grandfather who arrived in New York from Russia at the age of 13 and cobbled together a life by selling bananas on the street.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.
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