2020-2021 Legislative Achievements
In my first term, I worked alongside community advocates and experts to author and pass equity-centered legislation:
Student Data Privacy Act: This bill launched Minnesota into national leadership in protecting student privacy, both from technology companies that use access market to students and parents and profit off of their data, as well as from schools that rely on remote surveillance software that results in discriminatory enforcement against students of color, LGBTQ students, and neurodivergent students.
Immigration Guardianship Bill: This bill aligns state and federal immigration law to ensure that neglected, abandoned, or abused immigrant youth have access to the full protections of Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). This bill creates a guardianship that connects these youth with support and protection, and also provides the technical path to petition for SIJS with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The Veterans Restorative Justice Act: This bold, first-of-its-kind bill in the nation creates a restorative sentencing pathway for veterans with certain offenses that stem from a service-related injury or trauma. I worked alongside veterans advocates, defense attorneys, and domestic violence experts to negotiate the strongest-possible version of this bill. This bill is a bold step in the direction of a more just, functional, and effective system of criminal justice.
U Visa Certification Bill: This bill supports immigrant victims of serious crimes by creating standardized timelines for response by law enforcement to requests for a certification document required to apply for a “U Visa,” which provides a pathway to legalization. As the lead author of this bill, I brought together a coalition of immigrants’ rights experts, domestic violence advocates, and law enforcement to support its passage. This bill improves the process dramatically, providing more clarity and peace of mind for immigrants in the U Visa process.
Suicide Prevention Training Bill: This bill, in collaboration with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, provided funding to expand access to this critical virtual training for teachers across Minnesota. As students struggle with the impact of the pandemic on their mental wellbeing, this funding could not be more timely and important.
In addition to these key achievements, I also authored successful legislation to bring state and federal immigration law into alignment in our state pensions statutes and to expand funding for closed captioning of legislative hearings.