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Our immigration system is outdated and in need of reform.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 Thursday, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) voted to pass the conference report to accompany H.J. Res 31, which provides funding for the Departments of Homeland Security, Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Interior, State, Transportation, and other related agencies through the remainder of Fiscal Year 2019.
Washington, DC —U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and U.S. Representative Judy Chu (D-CA-27) today announced the introduction of bicameral legislation, the Shut Down Child Prison Camps Act, to shut down unregulated child prison camps for migrant children.
Washington, DC —Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) and Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) have each introduced companion bills in the House and Senate to block the implementation of President Trump’s executive order blocking travel from majority Muslim countries. The bills, H.R. 810 and S. 246, would prohibit the use of any funds or fees to implement Executive Order 13780, signed on March 6, 2017. Rep. Chu and Sen. Murphy, along with House and Senate original cosponsors Rep.
Washington, DC — Today, Donald Trump announced a deal to reopen the government for three weeks, ending the pointless government shutdown which has forced 800,000 federal workers and millions of contractors to go without pay for over a month. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) released the following statement:
Washington, DC — This week, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) and House Democrats voted to pass stand-alone funding bills that would reopen the Departments of Interior, Agriculture, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency and end the suffering of federal employees who today did not receive paychecks. These federal agencies have been shutdown since December 22nd, 2018 because of President Trump’s unrelated demand to build a border wall, forcing 800,000 workers to go without pay, even though about half of them are still required to work.
Washington, D.C. – On Thursday night, the Republican-led House of Representatives passed a funding bill to keep the government open until February 8, 2019 that also included $5.7 billion in new appropriations for President Trump’s border wall, something Senate leaders have said does not stand a chance of passing through their chamber. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) released the following statement:
Washington, DC — Following a Congressional trip to the southern border this weekend where they saw the child prison in Tornillo, Texas, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (OR) have introduced the Shut Down Child Prison Camps Act. This bill prohibits the Secretary of Health and Human Services from maintaining or operating any temporary emergency shelter, including the shelters in Tornillo, Texas and in Homestead, Florida.
Washington, DC — With just days left before a government shutdown, Republican lawmakers continue to insist a border wall is necessary for national security, citing a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) statistic that “ten known terrorists a day” are identified or captured at the southern border.
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.
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: