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Our immigration system is outdated and in need of reform.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 Friday, 14 California lawmakers sent a letter to Kevin McAleenan, Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), for clarity on CBP’s actions and claims against them in implementing President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning travel from seven Muslim-majority nations. The letter, led by Rep.
Washington, DC – Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) released the following statement in commemoration of Fred Korematsu Day:
Washington, D.C. – This week, Reps. Mike Coffman (CO-06) and Luis Gutierrez (IL-04) introduced legislation to protect undocumented young people brought over to the United States as children should the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program be discontinued under the next Administration. The House version is the companion bill to one introduced by U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL).
Washington, DC – Today, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson delivered a response to a December 5th letter sent by 110 Members of Congress calling on President Obama to protect the private information of those who applied for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The December letter, led by Reps.
Washington, DC – Today, 111 Members of Congress sent a letter to President Obama requesting that he take action to protect the names and private information of those who enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The letter, led by Reps. Judy Chu (CA-27), Zoe Lofgren (CA-29), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Raul Grijalva (AZ-03), and Luis Gutierrez (IL-04), specifically suggests an Executive Order that would prohibit the use of DACA enrollees’ information for purposes other than originally intended, including for purposes of deportation.
Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) joined 168 members of the U.S. House, led by Rep. David N. Cicilline (RI-01), in sending a letter asking President-elect Donald Trump to rescind 'alt-right' leader Steve Bannon’s appointment as White House Chief Strategist. Rep. Chu released the following statement:
Washington, DC – On Sunday, President-elect Donald Trump reiterated his promise to deport millions of undocumented immigrants. Following this assertion, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) is calling on the Obama Administration to take all legal measures available to prevent the names of those who enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) programs from being used as a list of deportation targets. Rep. Chu released the following statement:
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, Sarah Saldaña, Director of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), testified before the House Judiciary Committee to answer oversight questions on immigration enforcement. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), a member of the committee, asked Director Saldana about the agency’s policies on questioning immigrants about their status during labor disputes and why changes to that policy have not been made public. Rep. Chu 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.