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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Our immigration system is outdated and in need of reform.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

September 5, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Trump Administration’s decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) released the following statement:

August 14, 2017 Press Release

PASADENA, CA – Following the violence that occurred during a rally by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) released the following statement:

August 2, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, President Donald Trump announced support for the RAISE Act, a bill introduced in the United States Senate by Senators Cotton and Perdue that would dramatically cut America’s legal immigration system by moving from a family-based immigration system to a merit-based system. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) released the following statement:

July 28, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday night, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass a “minibus” appropriations package for Fiscal Year 2018 that includes the Defense, Energy & Water, Military Construction & Veterans Affairs, and Legislative Branch appropriations bills. Although the “minibus” does not include the Homeland Security appropriations bill, it included $1.6 billion in funding for a border wall through a self-executing rule. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) issued the following statement:

July 25, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, the U.S. House of Representatives will consider a “minibus” appropriations package for Fiscal Year 2018 that includes the Defense, Energy & Water, Military Construction & Veterans Affairs, and Legislative Branch appropriations bills. Although the “minibus” does not include the Homeland Security appropriations bill, House Republicans are expected to incorporate $1.6 billion in funding for a border wall through a self-executing rule. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) issued the following statement:

June 29, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Two anti-immigrant bills were passed in the House of Representatives today. The first, H.R. 3003, the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, allows the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to withhold crucial law enforcement and terrorism funding from jurisdictions that limit how their police can work with federal immigration agencies. Under H.R.

June 29, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – At 8:00 pm tonight, a truncated version of Trump’s 90-day Muslim Ban will go into effect. Travelers from six Muslim-majority countries without “bona fide” relationships in the U.S. will be denied visas. In preparation, the State Department issued guidelines for who counts as a “bona fide” relationship, drawing the line at immediate family and excluding relations like grandparents and fiancées.  Rep. Chu issued the following statement:

June 16, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) issued the following statement on the status of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) programs:

May 1, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, May Day, as thousands of protestors across the country march and organize for immigrant rights, Rep. Judy Chu, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representatives Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) led a bicameral effort in Congress pushing the Department of Homeland Security to be more transparent with its detention processes.

May 1, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today marks the start of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, which commemorates the history, contributions, and achievements of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community throughout the month of May. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), released the following statement: