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Our immigration system is outdated and in need of reform.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 – This afternoon, U.S. Capitol Police arrested 182 individuals outside of the U.S. Capitol, including Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27). The arrests came after a rally and march to the Capitol where thousands called for a vote on the DREAM Act. Rep. Chu, who was charged with “crowding, obstructing, or incommoding”, was processed and released and has issued the following statement:
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. 4271 and S. 1979, would prohibit the use of any funds or fees to implement Executive Order 13780, signed on March 6, 2017.
Washington, DC – On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security announced that they would be ending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 59,000 Haitians currently living in the United States. The order gives the Haitians until July 22, 2019 to self-deport. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) released the following statement:
On our young Dreamers, guns, and now health care, there are bipartisan bills ready to go that have bipartisan support. But they may never make it the floor for a vote. Why?
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.