Hawaii U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono on Friday railed against politicians who “demonize” immigrants and block meaningful reforms.

“Today, politicians — from presidential candidates to sitting governors — appeal to our nation’s fears in arguing against any meaningful reform of our broken immigration system,” she said on the Senate floor.

“In their divisive rhetoric and in their rush to build walls and close our borders, they neglect the faces of those they demonize,” she said. “And they forget the facts.”

Hirono is the only immigrant serving in the Senate today. Her mother brought her to the U.S. from Japan.

“These are mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers. These are neighbors and friends. They are not looking for handouts,” she said. “They are looking for the chance for a better life. That’s the universal appeal of our great country.”

Hirono has thrown her support behind President Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programs that she says will help 5 million people in the country work legally and pay their taxes.

The administration on Friday asked the Supreme Court to consider overturning a circuit court ruling last week against the programs.

Read more about the lawsuit and its implications in the Huffington Post here.

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