Crime and Safety
Rep. Chu with first responders during National Night Out.
I am committed to keeping our communities safe. We must do more to ensure law enforcement has all the tools it needs to stop crime and violence.
I am hard at work keeping our streets safe. While in Congress, I have focused my efforts on keeping guns out of dangerous hands, cutting off the money flow that finances drug crimes, and equipping our local law enforcement with the resources they need to effectively fight crime. Through my position on the House Judiciary Committee, specifically the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, I have upheld my commitment to protect our communities from those seeking to cause harm.
Federal Funding For Local Law Enforcement
With our economy in trouble and state and local budgets strained, funding for law enforcement is in a precarious position. Many law enforcement agencies across the country have implemented hiring freezes for both sworn officers and civilian positions. Federal funding can help address these concerns and more by getting more cops on the street and providing more safety equipment for our police officers.
• I am pushing for full funding of the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and have consistently voted against efforts to cut funds from this essential program.
• I strongly support the successful Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program - the leading source of crime fighting assistance funds for state and local law enforcement. Byrne JAG is crucial for supporting victim and witness protection programs, providing resources to investigate and prosecute crimes, and equipping our police officers with the technology and equipment to keep our neighborhoods safe.
The most effective way to reduce juvenile crime rates is to keep our youth from ever entering the system. That’s why I am an original co-sponsor of the Youth PROMISE Act (H.R. 1318).
This legislation will shift our country away from the ineffective policies of punishment and incarceration towards ones devoted to prevention and intervention. The bill provides over $1.1 billion to reduce juvenile crime and delinquency through proven and effective preventive methods. It focuses on efforts like individualized treatment plans, the hiring of more youth-oriented police officers, and partnering with local community groups who are best able to reach youths in need.
With these resources, we can truly make a difference and move these at-risk youth away from gangs and crime and towards schools and jobs.
Protecting our Cities
Every year, tens of thousands of Americans are senselessly murdered by criminals armed with guns. And what’s even more troubling is that the number of police officers killed by gun violence is on the rise. In many of these incidents, the killer was prohibited under current law from possessing a firearm. That is why I am a cosponsor of The Fix Gun Checks Act of 2013 (H.R. 137), which requires states to improve their reporting of records on criminals, drug abusers, domestic violence offenders and the seriously mentally ill to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). More specifically, the bill will:
• Improving the NICS Background Check System: NICS facilitates background checks on prospective gun buyers and prevents dangerous people from purchasing firearms. According to a recent analysis by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, 21 states have submitted fewer than 100 mental health records to the federal database. Three states have submitted none. This legislation would boost incentives for states to comply with reporting requirements.
• Close Loopholes that Allow Gun Sellers to Get Around the Background Check Requirements: Under current law, only federally licensed firearm dealers must conduct background checks. Around 40 percent of U.S. gun sales, however, are conducted by individuals who are not licensed dealers and are not required to run checks. This is why I am a cosponsor of the King-Thompson Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act (H.R. 1565). The bill would close a number of loopholes by requiring background checks on all commercial gun sales, which includes purchases at gun shows, over the internet or through classified ads.
The terrible circumstances in which a woman finds herself as the victim of domestic violence should not be exacerbated by a lack of resources for those who are trying to help her. Recent events in the news have reinvigorated discussion not only about why someone stayed, but also about what was available when they left. This is one of the reasons why I fought to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The new law authorizes $659 million a year over five years for programs that strengthen the criminal justice system’s response to crimes against women and some men, such as transitional housing, legal assistance, law enforcement training and hotlines. And because many immigrant women are afraid to report their abusers because they are afraid of being deported, I fought to make sure immigrant victims of violence would be protected by a special U visa program.
Cutting Off Funding for Drug Cartels
Drug cartel money continues to be a major concern for states along the United States – Mexico border. Cartels use financial systems, bulk cash smuggling, and trade based methods to move money through the U.S. and into Mexico. Up to $38 billion a year may be sent to Mexico by the cartels, and Los Angeles is one of the most significant money laundering bases where cartel leaders take direct control of the money. I am working to cut off the money flow by:
• Freezing foreign illegal assets: I authored the Preserving Foreign Criminal Assets for Forfeiture Act of 2010, which became law on December 22, 2010. This Act ensures U.S. courts can freeze assets subject to a foreign legal proceeding at the beginning of those proceedings. This bill is vital in the fight to combat money laundering and other illegal crime because it allows federal law enforcement to seek a temporary restraining order on potentially illicit assets that are often shielded from foreign forfeiture proceedings. Since this Act was enacted, the Justice Department has frozen more than $50 million in criminal assets
• Pushing for funding of critical programs: I am fighting for funding for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program, which since 2005, has dismantled or disrupted close to 14,000 drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. The Los Angeles HIDTA was responsible for “Operation Knock Out,” the nation’s largest-ever gang sweep.
More on Crime and Safety
Washington, DC – Today, the House unanimously passed H.R. 387, the Email Privacy Act. This bill updates the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act to prohibit providers of electronic communications, such as email service providers, from knowingly divulging to the government the contents of emails and other electronic communications held in storage.
Pasadena, CA – On Thursday, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) hosted a press conference at the Pasadena Police Department to encourage residents to participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Rep. Chu was joined by Phillip Sanchez, the Chief of Police for the City of Pasadena, Carmichael Octave, Lieutenant of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in Altadena, and Ryan Hampton, a constituent and prescription drug addiction survivor. Rep. Chu and Chief Sanchez released the following statements:
Accomplishments During the 114th Congress (2014-2016)
Bringing more federal resources to the San Gabriel Valley is one of my top priorities. This is why I partner with federal agencies to ensure that we have access to federal programs and funding that could benefit our region. I am proud to have worked with these agencies and the President’s Administration on the following initiatives.
Washington, DC – Today, FBI Director James Comey appeared before the House Judiciary Committee to answer oversight questions from Members of Congress. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) questioned Director Comey on FBI efforts to counter violent extremism in accordance with civil rights, particularly the “Don’t Be a Puppet” website which lays out broad warning signs for those perceived to be prone to extremist violence. Rep. Chu expressed concern that this strategy could promote profiling and released the following statement:
PASADENA, CA – Today, Reps. Judy Chu (CA-27), Norma J. Torres (CA-35), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Luis V. Gutiérrez (IL-04), John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13), Jared Polis (CO-02), Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38), and Xavier Becerra (CA-34) issued the following statement in response to the announcement by Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson that the Department will review its use of private contractors to operate immigration detention centers.
Washington, DC – On Thursday, House Republicans ended the Congressional work period early, starting a seven week summer recess without passing legislation to address gun violence, the Zika virus, or the Flint water crisis. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) released the following statement:
Washington, DC - Yesterday, Reps. Judy Chu (CA-27), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09), Andre Carson (IN-07), and Keith Ellison (MN-05) hosted the second briefing in a series of discussions on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programs entitled “Countering Violent Extremism: Threats, Challenges, and Solutions”. Since the attacks in Orlando and San Bernardino and the Oregon militia standoff, there has been increased emphasis on CVE initiatives at home and abroad.
Washington, DC – On Thursday night, a peaceful protest in response to the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile turned deadly as five Dallas, TX police officers were killed and seven others wounded by at least one sniper. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) released the following statement:
WASHINGTON, DC – On Tuesday night, four-year-old Salvador Esparza was shot and killed outside of his home in Altadena, CA. Today, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), who represents Altadena, spoke about Salvador on the House Floor and called for action on gun violence to prevent future deaths. Rep. Chu’s remarks are below:
PASADENA, CA – On Wednesday night, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), hosted “SPEAK OUT: Enough is Enough”, a discussion on the need for Congressional action on gun violence prevention legislation. This event was a part of the National Day of Action on Gun Violence Prevention that was organized by House Democrats.