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Immigration

Congresswoman Judy Chu speaking at an Immigration Reform rally in Washington, D.C.


Our immigration system is outdated and in need of reform.  We have more than 12 million immigrants currently living in the United States without legal status, millions of more close family members waiting abroad to join their loved ones through the family-based immigration system, and the ongoing detention and deportation of our community members.  Businesses and farmers aren’t getting access to the workers they need to stay competitive, which hurts our economy.

I fought hard to get on the Judiciary Committee when I was elected to Congress, which has oversight over all immigration issues.  Now as a Judiciary Committee member, I am working to ensure proper oversight of immigration related agencies, fighting policies that hurt families and businesses, and advocating for legislation to reform our broken system.

Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (H.R. 15)

Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Ending Illegal Immigration

During the 113th Congress, I was among five Members who introduced a bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform bill, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (H.R. 15). This bill would reform, improve and modernize our immigration system so that it works for families and business alike. The bill includes the following measures:  

• Provides a pathway to temporary legal status and a pathway to citizenship to residents who have been in the U.S. since December 31, 201, who compete background checks, pay taxes, and learn English 
• Expedited pathway to Earned Citizenship for DREAMers who entered the U.S. before  he or she turned 16, have earned a high-school diploma or GED, have completed at least two years of college or four years of military service, and have passed an English test and background test. 
•Special path to legalization for farm workers who have performed a certain amount of hours during a two-year period, and pay a penalty and pass background check. 
• Reduce the backlog for family-based visas to keep families together.
• Expand legal immigration by creating a new merit-based point system that allows foreign nationals to obtain legal permanent residence (LPR) status by accumulating points mainly based on their skills, employment history, and education credentials. 
• Makes it easier for employers to bring the best and brightest to U.S. by eliminating country-specific limits on employment-based immigrant visas and exempts certain highly skilled immigrants from the worldwide cap, such as those who have advance degrees in science, technology, and engineering. 
• Provides appointed attorneys for unaccompanied minor children, immigrants with serious mental disabilities, and other particularly vulnerable individuals in removal proceedings.
• Mandates and expands electronic employment verification (E-Verify) and implements stiffer penalties on employers who abuse the system.

DREAM Act (H.R. 1842)
I strongly support the DREAM Act to enable young undocumented students who grew up in this country to stay in the U.S.  This bill removes federal penalties for states that provide college financial aid regardless of immigration status, and would also provide temporary legal status and a path to citizenship for undocumented students who have grown up in the U.S. and attend college or join the military.

In the winter of 2010, the House took up the DREAM Act on the House Floor.  I fought tirelessly as a member of the Immigration Whip Committee to garner support for the bill.  And it worked – I voted in favor of the DREAM Act when it passed the House as a standalone bill for the first time in history.  Although the legislation was unable to pass the Senate, I remain committed to seeing the DREAM Act signed into law.

That’s why I am proud that President Obama has decided not to deport any DREAM students for the next two years.  If you or a family member are a DREAM student, there are resources to help you through this process.  Please visit here to see Frequently Asked Questions and how my office can help.

Protect Our Workers from Exploitation and Retaliation Act (POWER Act, or H.R. 2169)
I introduced the POWER Act to stop disreputable employers from exploiting immigrants.  Immigrants from across the country report that some employers threaten them with deportation to intimidate workers from protecting themselves against abuse.

While current law does protect all workers, regardless of immigration status, it doesn’t go far enough to protect the victims of this abuse.  The POWER Act would change that.  My bill allows worker protection agencies to ask the Department of Homeland Security to provide immigrants with temporary lawful status and an employment authorization if they have filed a workplace claim against an unscrupulous employer.

More on Immigration

March 27, 2018 Press Release

Washington, DC — On Monday night, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it would be adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The census, as required by the Constitution, calls for an accurate accounting of the number of people in this country, regardless of their citizenship status Last week, when Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross appeared before the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep.

March 22, 2018 Press Release

Washington, DC — Today, the House of Representatives voted to pass the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, an omnibus spending bill to fund the remainder of Fiscal Year 2018. This Omnibus appropriates $1.21 trillion in base discretionary budget authority and $78 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding. The Defense Appropriations bill sees a 14% increase over Fiscal Year 2017, while the remaining eleven appropriations bills see an aggregate 12% increase.

February 26, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — On Monday morning, the Supreme Court opted not to hear an appeal by the Trump administration of an earlier Federal district court decision that allowed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to remain in effect for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who already received work authorization. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), released the following statement:

February 23, 2018 Press Release

PASADENA, CA — On Thursday, it was reported that the United States Citizenship and Immigrations Services (USCIS) would strike the phrase “nation of immigrants” from their mission statement. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) released the following reaction:

February 12, 2018 In The News

Southern California Rep. Judy Chu and other lawmakers denounced President Trump's characterization of family-based immigration as "chain migration" during a press conference Tuesday in Washington, D.C., opening another front in the battle over immigration reform.

February 9, 2018 Press Release

Washington, D.C.— Today, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), issued the following statement on the long-term budget deal that was passed this morning:  

February 6, 2018 Press Release

Washington, D.C.— Today, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), introduced H.R. 4944, the Reuniting Families Act, to fix the current backlog in the family immigration system. Currently, it can take decades for a U.S. citizen to be reunited with even one family member. The Reuniting Families Act, cosponsored by 45 Members of Congress, would make a number of changes to expediate and increase family reunification. Rep. Chu released the following statement:

February 1, 2018 In The News

Emiliana was born in the Phillippines. Her father was a World War II veteran who fought for the United States and was able to become a citizen. However, he was forced to leave his family in the Philippines behind. When Emiliana’s aging father started to need full-time care, he petitioned for her to join him.  When it was granted, she, at the age of 60, moved from the Phillippines to Oakland to be there for him.

January 29, 2018 Press Release

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced today that President Trump has once again invited families who lost a loved one in a crime committed by an immigrant to be his guests at the State of the Union. These guests are a part of his anti-immigrant campaign, despite statistics that immigrants are more law abiding and less violent than native-born individuals. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), who invited a Dreamer to be her guest to the State of the Union, released the following statement:

January 25, 2018 Press Release

Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) has invited Jung Bin Cho, a 23-year old Dreamer, to be her official guest at President Trump’s State of the Union scheduled for January 30th. Jung Bin Cho’s family emigrated to the U.S. from Korea in 2001 with the hope of attaining the American Dream for their children. Thanks to DACA, Jung Bin was able to work and save money that allowed him to graduate from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Information Technology. Rep. Chu released the following statement: