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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Our immigration system is outdated and in need of reform.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

August 12, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC — Contradicting years of federal policy, the Trump Administration today made final a rule proposed by the Department of Homeland Security in October 2018 that would make it difficult for many legal immigrants to come to the U.S. or receive green cards if they have used benefits such as Medicaid, housing assistance, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), among others.

July 3, 2019 Press Release

Today the Trump Administration announced that it would move forward with printing the 2020 census without a citizenship question. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) released the following statement: 

June 27, 2019 Press Release

The House of Representatives today voted to pass the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act, as passed by the Senate. This bill will provide $4.59 billion in emergency funds to address the crisis at the border, including $2.88 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services to provide shelter for unaccompanied children and $112 million for migrant medical care and other necessities.

June 26, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC — Today, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) introduced an amendment to H.R. 3401, the supplemental border appropriations bill, that would prohibit any funds made available by the bill from being used to operate Fort Sill, a former Japanese American internment camp, as a detention center for minor children. This amendment is a response to the Trump Administration’s plans to relocate about 1,400 migrant children to the fort. Rep. Chu issued the following statement:

June 12, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC — Today, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) introduced the No Federal Funds for Public Charge Act, a bill to prevent any federal funds from being used to implement President Trump’s proposed “public charge” rule. The proposed rule, posted on the Federal Register by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on October 10, 2018, greatly expands the list of programs that could be considered when an immigrant is applying for a green card.

June 4, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC — The House of Representatives today voted 237-187 to pass H.R. 6, the Dream and Promise Act of 2019. This bill, introduced by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), provides a pathway to citizenship for over 2.5 million US residents, including Dreamers – those eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) - and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients.

May 16, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC — Today, President Trump announced a new immigration proposal that reduces family-based immigration, creates a burdensome merit-based system for new immigrants, and fails to address Dreamers, TPS, or detained immigrant children. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) issued the following statement:

“We need a smart immigration policy that meets the needs of our communities and economy. Donald Trump’s plan is not that. It is, as with all of Trump’s policies, about excluding people.

April 30, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC — On Monday night, President Trump issued a memo calling for changes to the legal asylum system. These changes include charging migrants a fee to apply for asylum and denying work authorization to asylum seekers in the US while they wait for their day in court. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) issued the following statement:

April 10, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) and Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) today introduced companion bills in the Senate and House to repeal the President’s existing executive order blocking travel from majority Muslim countries and prevent another baseless, discriminatory travel ban from happening again.