Today, Valley Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) again joined a majority of the House of Representatives in rejecting the second of two failed immigration bills that have been described by both Republican and Democratic leaders and non-governmental organizations across the United States as "partisan," "costly," "short-sighted," and "anti-American."
Today's failure of H.R. 6136, more commonly referred to as "the Ryan Bill," comes on the heels of the House rejecting H.R. 4760, or "the Goodlatte Bill," last Thursday. Both bills include provisions that would have made it more difficult for immigrants to legally seek asylum and authorized federal funds to build a border wall in exchange for a limited path to legalization for DREAMers. The Ryan Bill also includes provisions that would have allowed for immigrant families to be detained indefinitely, while the Goodlatte Bill would have displaced current farm workers with the creation of a new guest worker program.
Rep. Costa called on the House to reject both bills last week, stating "Our immigration system is broken, and everybody knows that Why don't we try sitting down and working together on real, bipartisan reform? This is a partisan proposal that holds DREAMers and vulnerable children hostage, and does nothing for California farm workers. What's worse, it builds a $25 billion wall that by itself does not provide comprehensive solutions for our border security, which we all believe in I urge my colleagues to do the right thing: Vote NO. Let's get back to working on bipartisan reform, reform that provides us with the border security we need, fixes our immigration system, and respects the dignity and humanity of aspiring Americans." For video of Congressman Costa's floor speech, click here.
Congressman Costa has been advocating for bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform for years. More recently, Costa joined DREAMers, other members of Congress, and groups from the Value Our Families coalition earlier this month to call for strong opposition to the provisions in the Goodlatte Bill that would keep families apart. He also joined his fellow members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) on June 13th for a Special Order calling for the end of the Administration's then-policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border. Last week, Congressman Costa went on a fact-finding mission with his fellow CHC members to multiple immigration detention facilities to see first-hand the effects of the Administration's family separation immigration policy.
After both immigration bills failed in the House, Rep. Costa shared, "Today shows, yet again, what happens when you try to cram through Congress partisan, short-sighted, and narrowly-serving legislation: You fail. I hope House leadership finally learns this lesson and starts supporting our bipartisan and serious efforts in the House to pass the real immigration reform our country needs. This is the only way we will be able to fix our broken immigration system and make it fair, efficient, and effective."