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.
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This week, I voted to pass the Divided Family Reunification Act, the Consumer Protection and Recovery Act, the Allies Act, and the PFAS Action Act. I also cosponsored legislation to incentivize renewable energy investments, establish a strategy to manage biodiversity loss, raise awareness for black maternal mental health, and streamline access to health care for veterans exposed to burn pits. As Chairman of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, I led a hearing on the historic protests and repression of free expression in Cuba.
This week, I cosponsored several important pieces of legislation to prevent bullying in schools, improve climate literacy, incentivize the use of sustainable fuel, improve housing equity and accessibility, invest in girls’ civic education globally, recognize the contributions of immigrants, and expand the program to provide visas to our Afghan allies as the U.S. withdraws from Afghanistan.
Last week, several colleagues and I met with Vice President Harris to discuss root causes of migration from Central America. I voted in favor of the bipartisan bill to create a commission investigating the insurrection on January 6, 2021. I also voted in favor of providing additional funding to the Capitol Police to strengthen security at the Capitol Complex. I cosponsored several pieces of legislation including a federal protection for abortion access, free menstrual products for students and through Medicaid, and equal pay for women in the military.
This week, I chaired a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere hearing regarding migration from Central America. I also cosponsored several pieces of legislation focused on replacing lead pipes in public housing, expanding eligibility for SNAP benefits, and funding the transition of public buildings to sustainable energy use.
This week, we witnessed racism and misogyny on display as eight people were senselessly murdered in Atlanta. The rise in hate crimes and violence against Asian Americans in the last year follows a disturbing trend and is made worse by the discriminatory language used by leaders in our public spaces. The shooting in Atlanta is the latest violent act perpetrated on innocent victims, and another example that we don’t need of why this country’s gun laws do not keep us safe. We must do better to hold accountable those whose actions and inactions led to this week’s shooting.
(Washington, D.C.) – Hoy, el congresista Albio Sires (D-NJ), emitió la siguiente declaración después de la aprobación de H.R. 6, la Ley del Sueño y la Promesa Estadounidense, y H.R. 1603, la Ley de Modernización de la Fuerza Laboral Agrícola:
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ), released the following statement after yesterday’s passage of H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, and H.R. 1603, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act:
This week, I joined a roundtable hosted by Kean University to discuss reaching urban communities with vaccine messages. I signed onto multiple pieces of legislation to overhaul the immigration system in our country, support automatic voter registration, secure more working rights for Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees, require an aviation preparedness plan for future pandemics, and create a tax credit for individuals who purchase an electric bicycle.
This week, the country celebrated the inauguration of President Biden as the 46th President of the United States. It was an inspiring and uplifting day, and highlighted how much work must be done this term to build up and renew our communities. As the pandemic continues to rage across the country paired with unemployment rates that remain far too high, and with an urgent need to forcefully confront our climate crisis, leadership, truth, and informed public policy are greatly needed.
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) released the following statement applauding President Biden’s plan to reform our immigration system, including the series of executive actions taken on his first day in office:
“President Biden’s swift actions to correct the failed immigration policies of the previous administration are a needed and welcomed step toward reforming our broken immigration system,” said Congressman Sires.