The United States is a country built on the contributions of immigrants and their families seeking the American Dream. As an immigrant myself, I have had the privilege to experience this first hand and witness just how much immigrants enrich our society.
Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have strongly supported comprehensive immigration reform as the solution to fixing our Nation’s broken immigration system. Congress must come together to pass legislation that addresses the issue in a fair and compassionate way while acknowledging the causes of illegal immigration into country, such as the widespread violence in Central America, and work with our neighbors in the Western Hemisphere to find solutions.
Since the beginning of his campaign the President has used hateful rhetoric to target immigrants. As President, this has continued in numerous executive actions, including limiting visitation from specific countries, pausing the acceptance of refugees, and terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. I am extremely disappointed that the President has turned his back on the foundation of our country as a nation of immigrants and seeks to build walls between communities. Divisive language and policies will only aggravate the problems facing our immigration system while weakening our economy and national security.
I am extremely opposed to all of these actions and have cosponsored numerous pieces of legislation in an attempt to counter the President’s attempts to divide us. Among these pieces of legislation is the bipartisan H.R. 3440, the DREAM Act, introduced by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA). This extremely popular piece of legislation would enable millions of undocumented young people, who came here as children and know no other home, to enter a pathway to citizenship. This pathway would be open to law-abiding DREAMers who meet a series of qualifications and would take approximately 8-13 years. H.R. 3440 has widespread bipartisan support and I am disappointed that Speaker Ryan has ignored requests to hold a vote on it.
Congress can no longer ignore the problems in our immigration system that harm those who are seeking a better life free of poverty, war, and violence. We must come together to craft reform that will resolve the flaws in our current system to create one that will treat all people equally, humanely, and compassionately.
More on Immigration
Last week in Washington, the House voted on removing the deadline for the Equal Rights Amendment and expanding public land protections. I met with the New Jersey Fraternal Order of the Police, representatives of New Jersey community colleges, the NJ Clean Cities Coalition and Transportation Energy Partners, and more. I attended a House Budget Committee hearing and also chaired a Western Hemisphere Subcommittee hearing.
This week in Washington, I voted for the passage of legislation to support veteran-owned small businesses as well as a bill to increase the competitiveness of U.S. exports. I met with DACA recipients, the New Jersey League of Conservation, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and more to discuss the impacts of federal policy on our community. I also attended a House Budget Committee hearing with the Chair of the Federal Reserve and a Europe and Eurasia Subcommittee hearing on democratic values in NATO.
This week in Washington, the House voted on legislation in response to the ongoing crisis in Syria. I asked the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation to investigate claims of conflict of interest in Secretary Chao’s office and spoke at Budget Committee Hearing on economic resiliency. I also welcomed the Elmora Youth Little League baseball team from Elizabeth, NJ to celebrate their trip to the Little League World Series.
(Washington, DC) – Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade, released the following statement after the Trump Administration signed “safe third country” agreements with Honduras and El Salvador:
Last week, the House considered urgent legislation addressing the humanitarian crisis at the southern border and our nation’s fiscal health. I spoke at a House Committee on the Budget hearing focused on climate change and met with stakeholders on international issues ranging from human trafficking to tainted alcohol.
(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Sires released the following statement in response to the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General report detailing the deplorable conditions of detention facilities at the Southern border:
Last week in Washington, the House continued to advance the funding for fiscal year (FY) 2020 as well as vote on humanitarian assistance for migrants at the Southern border and election security. I spoke at a House Committee on the Budget hearing about the positive impact of immigrants on our economy, received the Legislator of the Year award from the New Jersey Department of Veterans of Foreign Wars, and met with stakeholders as a part of my work on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
This week in Washington, the House of Representatives tackled long standing priorities of the Democratic majority including DACA, disaster relief, and the environment. I met with groups ranging from the Anti-Defamation League to the National Association of Home Builders to align my work with our community’s priorities. I also introduced legislation to push back against the Administration’s misguided approach to foreign policy and attended a hearing on human rights in China.
This week in Washington, the House moved forward legislation to progress LGBTQ+ rights and protect access to health care. I met with the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic, and the U.S.-Guatemala Business Council. Additionally, I voiced concerns about the future security of our nation’s infrastructure at a hearing held by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
While making up 22 percent of the state’s total population, immigrants own 47 percent of main street businesses. Thank you to the immigrants working hard across the state of New Jersey, and across this country.