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Our immigration system is outdated and in need of reform.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.
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
Washington, DC — On Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he was reversing decades of American policy and ordered immigration judges to stop granting asylum visas to most victims of domestic abuse, gang violence, and others persecuted by private actors. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), released the following statement:
“The Trump Administration told us their immigration crackdown was focused on criminals. Now, they’re turning their sights on victims
Washington, D.C. – Today marks the start of Immigrant Heritage Month, which is celebrated each June to commemorate our diversity as a nation of immigrants. To commemorate Immigrant Heritage Month, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) issued the following statement:
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Judy Chu and Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) introduced the Protecting Our Workers from Exploitation and Retaliation (POWER) Act in the House and Senate. The legislation will provide U Visa eligibility for immigrant workers who report unsafe or unfair labor practices. The bill will also strengthen labor agencies’ investigative powers and allow a stay of removal and work authorization for workers who file a workplace claim.
Washington, DC — In an interview this morning, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said that immigrants crossing the border would not assimilate into the United States, that they don’t integrate well, and they don’t have skills. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) released the following statement in response:
“If John Kelly thinks immigrants don’t integrate well and don’t have any skills, then he needs to visit California, where we are a majority minority state and thriving with one of the strongest economies in the world.
Washington, DC —On Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced his new plan to separate immigrant children from parents when apprehended at the border. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) released the following statement:
Washington, DC — Yesterday, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) introduced H.Res. 869 to recognize the history and contributions of American Muslims to our country. The resolution, introduced days before the start of the holy month of Ramadan, recounts the history of American Muslims from the earliest arrivals brought here as slaves through their contributions in the military, architecture, sciences, sports, civil rights, and more. Rep. Chu released the following statement:
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.
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.
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:
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: