From our founding and at our very core, America has always been a nation of immigrants, documented and undocumented, who have made great contributions to our nation. From their labor building the transcontinental railroad and developing our nation's infrastructure, to their entrepreneurship spurring industry in our early American cities, we should all know by now that 'immigrant' is not a dirty word. Looking toward our future with our aging workforce and social security crisis, we need the contributions of immigrants, now more than ever.
The current immigration system is broken. Because of backlogs and bureaucratic delays, some must wait years, sometimes decades, to reunite with their family members who are eligible to legally immigrate to the United States. Immigrants are often deprived of due process rights that are fundamental to America's notion of liberty.
Those in detention for civil immigration violations often face inadequate medical care, and we have seen many deaths this past year. We need to bring our undocumented population out of the shadows, so that they can contribute and help rebuild America's economy, safely and without fear of being separated from their families.
Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S.744)
The recent Senate bill, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, is a tremendous step toward honoring our nation's legacy as a land of opportunity. I commend the Senate bi-partisan working group for enhancing the employment visa system, increasing the pool of green cards available to foreign-born science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) graduates, addressing visa backlogs, forging a path to citizenship for undocumented communities, and incorporating the DREAM Act and elements of my Reuniting Families Act. I will continue to champion immigration reform that strengthens our economy and supports the labor needs of U.S. businesses and Silicon Valley.
I will also continue to work with my colleagues in the Senate and House to ensure that family reunification is prioritized as the bill moves through the legislative process. I will also work to ensure that a reform bill eliminates discrimination in immigration law against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans and their foreign-born partners. The family is the basic unit of our society, and strong immigrant families start businesses, create jobs, and contribute to our nation's social and economic fabric.
As a Member of the Appropriations Committee, I will fight to protect those programs which positively and inclusively support new citizens and their integration, while holding accountable those programs that threaten our civil rights and justice.
Reuniting Families Act (H.R. 717)
In 2013, I introduced the Re-Uniting Families Act to reduce the visa backlog for legal immigrants and ensure our families – all our families – can be reunited. Additionally, this bill also eliminates discrimination in immigration law against same-sex, permanent partners and their families who are seeking to reunite. Family immigration must remain a cornerstone of our immigration system.
Strengthen and Unite Communities through Civics Education and English Skills Act of 2013 (H.R. 1258)
In 2013, I introduced the Strengthen and Unite Communities through Civics Education and English Skills Act to provide opportunities for immigrants to gain the vital English skills needed to succeed, contribute to our economy, and pursue the American Dream. This bill will help our economy remain competitive, protect our workers, and incentivize immigrant integration through English and civics education.
Deferred Action Policies and the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act (H.R. 1842)
I believe in humane reform that respects the dignity of immigrant communities and recognizes their contributions to American society. We can make America stronger by upholding our values and principles and honoring the entrepreneurial spirit of the American dream – with freedom and opportunity on our shores. President Obama acted with great leadership and compassion by implementing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), shielding over a million young immigrants from deportation.
I co-sponsored the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act which included the addition of $329 billion to the U.S. economy and 1.4 million new jobs by 2030. Now, Congress must move forward with a comprehensive immigration reform plan, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure a just, humane and workable immigration system that honors families, respects human dignity, and strengthens our economy.
More on Immigration
Washington, DC – Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA17) today introduced the Freedom of Faith Act (H.R. 4460), which will make permanent the special immigrant provision for non-minister religious workers. The current religious workers program is set to expire in 2015.
Washington, D.C. – At Friday’s Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies subcommittee hearing of the House Appropriations Committee, Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA17) asked Attorney General Eric Holder about the backlog in testing of rape kits, delays in immigration hearings, and what resources the Justice Department plans to dedicate to fighting the sex trafficking of minors.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA17) today said he would work closely with President Obama and his fellow House members on plans the President laid out in his State of the Union address.
“Tonight we heard a President, who understands the needs of hard-working Americans, outline an agenda to help them overcome the challenges our country faces,” Congressman Honda said. “I look forward to working with the President, and my colleagues in Congress, to enact legislation to get this done.”
Washington, DC – Congressman Honda (D-Silicon Valley) today lauded the US House of Representatives for passing the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2014, and called on the Senate to pass it immediately.
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Mike Honda (D-Silicon Valley) released “2013 Year in Review,” his annual report for the residents of Santa Clara and Alameda Counties. The first iBook published by a member of Congress, the annual report highlights his legislative accomplishments and constituent services successes for the year in a multimedia format.
I am delighted to present you with my 2013 Year in Review and the first-ever iBook published by a Member of Congress. An iBook is like an electronic book yet allows for interactive features, such as embeded videos, interactive charts and audio files.
Washington, D.C. – Over the weekend, I welcomed the return of Vietnamese-American college student Anna Ha at San Francisco International Airport. An American citizen and undergrad at UC Davis, Ms.
I was pleased to join President Obama and other immigration advocates and leaders in the AAPI community at the Betty Ong Chinese Recreation Center in San Francisco today to stress the importance of passing comprehensive immigration reform. It will take his leadership – as well as the voices of all those across our nation yearning for commonsense immigration policy – to push for a vote in the House of Representatives. For far too long, our undocumented brothers and sisters have remained in the shadows and repeatedly been denied their chance at the American Dream.
Back in August, I delivered a letter to President Barack Obama signed by 33 of my colleagues, asking him to grant humanitarian parole to the DREAM 9 and allow them to remain permanently in the United States. This past September, a second group of brave undocumented immigrants, clad in caps and gowns, crossed through a port of entry in Laredo, Texas, in an effort to continue to shed light on the need for our country to fix the broken immigration system.