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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Our immigration system is outdated and in need of reform.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

December 14, 2018 Press Release

Washington, DC — Today and Saturday, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) will be taking part in an oversight visit to immigrant detention facilities at the southern border. Rep. Chu will be joined on this delegation by Sens. Jeff Merkley (OR), Mazie Hirono (HI), and Tina Smith (MN). Rep. Beto O’Rourke (TX-16) will be joining on Saturday. The delegation will inspect family detention centers in Karnes City and Dilley, Texas; and the child detention center in Tornillo, Texas. The Tornillo detention facility is currently holding more than 2,000 children in a tent encampment in the desert.

November 26, 2018 Press Release

Washington, DC — Over the weekend, following an order by President Trump to allow the military to use lethal force against migrants at our southern border, an incident occurred near the San Ysidro crossing where border patrol agents fired tear gas at unarmed women and children seeking to enter the country and request asylum as the law permits. President Trump temporarily ordered the crossing to be closed and has threatened to close the entire border. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) released the following statement:

October 30, 2018 Press Release

Washington, DC — Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) issued the following statement on President Trump’s plan to use an executive order to end the 14th Amendment’s promise of birthright citizenship:

“With one statement, Donald Trump displayed the bigotry and the ignorance that have made his presidency so dangerous.

October 9, 2018 Press Release

Washington, DC — Today, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) introduced H.R. 7052, a bill to prevent any federal funds from being used to implement President Trump’s proposed “public charge” rule. The rule, announced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on September 22, 2018, greatly expands the list of programs that could be considered when an immigrant is applying for a green card.

September 24, 2018 Press Release

Washington, DC — Contradicting years of federal policy, a proposed rule expected to be introduced by the Department of Homeland Security would make it difficult for many immigrants to come to the U.S. or receive green cards if they are considered likely to use benefits such as Medicaid, housing assistance, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), among others.

September 24, 2018 Press Release

Washington, DC — On Friday, a federal judge ordered Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to be deposed for a lawsuit about how a question on citizenship was added to the 2020 Census. In March, at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing, Sec. Ross testified in response to a question from Rep. Chu that the Department of Justice “initiated” the request to add the question. But documents released last week show that the Commerce Department pushed the Department of Justice to request the question over their own objections. Rep. Chu released the following statement:

September 6, 2018 Press Release

Washington D.C. - Today, the Trump Administration announced that it would be promulgating regulations to terminate the Flores Settlement, the agreement that ensures that the welfare of children is prioritized when they are in the custody of the federal government. The Flores Settlement ensures that children who are detained be placed in the least restrictive setting within three days of entering custody, and that the placements where children are sent be licensed by the state child welfare agency.

July 24, 2018 Press Release

Washington D.C. – On Saturday, Reps. Judy Chu (CA-27), Grace Napolitano (CA-32), Mark Takano (CA-41), and Raul Ruiz (CA-36) visited the David and Margaret Youth and Family Services Facility, an Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR)-funded facility in Los Angeles County, which houses immigrant children who have been separated from their parents. Rep. Chu released the following statement:

July 19, 2018 Press Release

Washington D.C. – On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted on H. Res 990, a non-binding and politically-driven resolution concerning U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), did not vote in favor and issued the following statement: