Issue Position: Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Issue Position

Date: Jan. 1, 2015
Issues: Immigration

Congressman Garamendi supports the comprehensive immigration reform bill passed by the U.S. Senate in 2013, and he is an original cosponsor of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, H.R. 15, a House bill to finally deliver comprehensive immigration reform to America.

H.R. 15 is designed to receive bipartisan support in the House. It contains the provisions of the comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate in June 2013 by the bipartisan vote of 68 to 32, with one exception. The exception is that it replaces the Corker-Hoeven border security provisions in the Senate-passed bill with the bipartisan provisions of the McCaul-Thompson border security bill that was reported out of the House Homeland Security Committee by a unanimous vote in May.

Congressman Garamendi said:

"Our immigration system is broken. We need to fix this system. The only way immigration reform passes in the House is if Democrats and Republicans compromise. No one is going to get everything they want out of a deal, but that's the nature of the legislative process.

"In my district, we have students from foreign countries we should be eager to embrace as Americans, yet far too often once they graduate, they're forced to leave the country and use their knowledge and talents elsewhere.

"We have DREAMers, brought to this country at a very early age, eager to go to college or join the military in the only country they've ever known as home.

"We have entrepreneurs, born in other countries, eager to unleash their creativity and create jobs for all Americans.

"We have farmers with their backs against the barn wall, too often stuck with the decision to hire undocumented immigrants or let their fields go fallow.

"We have a Social Security system providing a lifeline for millions of seniors that would be strengthened by an influx of young immigrants paying into it.

"We have families, living as productive members of our community for decades, worried that father and daughter will be torn apart with a knock on the front door.

"We have residents concerned about safety along our borders and at our ports.

"It's time for Congress to act on a comprehensive immigration reform bill that brings our country's 11 million undocumented people out of the shadows and creates a pathway to earned citizenship. In doing so, we can enforce labor laws that protect American workers, grow our economy, and solve our problems together. We have always been strongest when we've embraced our tradition as being a welcoming nation for immigrants."

The comprehensive immigration reform below supported by Congressman Garamendi:

*Secures our borders by including provisions of the bipartisan McCaul-Thompson border security bill that received unanimous approval from the House Homeland Security Committee;
*Provides visas for seasonal agricultural workers who want to retain citizenship in other countries;
*Streamlines the ability of hardworking entrepreneurs from foreign countries to establish roots, grow their businesses, and create jobs (half of the jobs created in the Silicon Valley were created by immigrants);
*Simplifies the process for the best and brightest from foreign countries who want to study in and possibly pursue citizenship in America;
*Cracks down on abusive labor arrangements against undocumented immigrants, protecting all American workers by preventing a race to the bottom and removing incentives to hire workers "under-the-table";
*Allows the DREAMers to pursue an education or join the military without fear of deportation;
*Keeps families together who have lived here for many years; and
*Offers hardworking productive immigrants a pathway to earning citizenship.

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, enactment of the bipartisan Senate-passed comprehensive immigration reform bill would reduce the deficit by $850 billion. CBO also estimates that the Senate-passed bill would increase economic growth by 3.3% in 2023 and 5.4% in 2033.

"It is time for the House to pass commonsense comprehensive immigration reform," Garamendi added.