“Hard-working families in pursuit of the American Dream have been shortchanged for far too long with an immigration system that is outdated, inefficient, and systematically flawed. I support a comprehensive approach to immigration reform that keeps our nation safe but at the same time keeps families united.”
SUMMARY OF STANCE
I am a strong supporter of comprehensive immigration reform. It has long been time for Congress to overhaul the current immigration system that is inefficient, ineffective and out of date. We need a legal and fair system that promotes job growth, family reunification, and economic and national security. Because we have not dealt with comprehensive immigration reform, we are seeing a rise in deportations which results in families being broken up.
RELATED LEGISLATION AND ACTIONS
Introducing legislation is just one action that a member of Congress can take to address a concern or issue that impacts constituents. House Members can also introduce Congressional resolutions calling on the House (or even the full Congress) as a body to recognize or support a certain event or position on an issue. Members can write letters to government leaders requesting they take certain action, hold hearings with expert panels to address issues, work with colleagues at the committee level on specific issues, or even make direct in-person appeals to other Members or officials in the government. Here are a few examples of how I have taken action on this issue.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform
As the son of an immigrant parent, I understand the hardships of those who are stuck in a system that does not function properly – often denying hardworking people a clearly defined, legal path to citizenship while at times separating families for years at a time. Now, the sweeping new guidelines signed by Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly empowering federal authorities to detain and deport undocumented immigrants inside the United States and at the border confirm that the Trump administration is willing to engage in practices that violate human rights. This aggressive crackdown is immoral and un-American.
These new regulations, which expand immigration raids and the definition of criminal aliens, also intend to deny federal resources to sanctuary cities and enlist local law enforcement to help execute federal immigration policies. These policies are alarming and raise serious concerns of inadequate due process.
This is not who we are as a country, millions of families across our country, California, and my district are terrified. We need to keep families together and fight for comprehensive immigration reform. Immigrants are a fundamental and invaluable part of our country’s social, economic and cultural fabric.
President Trump Travel Ban
The President’s two attempted travel bans continue a misguided effort that violates our values and does nothing to increase our security. The latest version, which has been stopped in the courts, continues the false and harmful narrative that America is at war with Islam as a religion and contradicts our long history of welcoming refugees and people from every country. I still believe strongly that our nation is great because it is built by refugees and immigrants from every part of the world and I will continue to oppose the President’s shortsighted, ill-conceived efforts to ban and divide.
Importance of Protecting DACA
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, created by President Obama in 2012, protects undocumented youth from deportation and allows them to legally work in the United States.
We know now that DACA recipients are making significant contributions to our economy and that DACA has had an important positive impact on employment, earnings and education.
DACA recipients contribute in all sectors of the economy. The temporary work authorization that comes with DACA has helped recipients unlock their own economic potential, having a tremendous positive effect on wages and allowing recipients to help their families financially.
The DACA program has been a major driver of economic growth and has promoted positive educational and employment outcomes for these individuals and their families, as well as cities and states that reap the benefits of new tax dollars from economic development and new jobs. Almost five years later, the positive effects of DACA on the lives of undocumented young people and their families have been enormous.
I believe we need to protect our promising undocumented youth and keep this program intact until we can pass comprehensive immigration legislation.
For more information concerning my work and views on immigration, please contact me.
More on Immigration
Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling today which blocked the Trump Administration's attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:
Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), today, led eight of his House colleagues in introducing the “Honor Our Commitment Act” to maintain current protections afforded to Vietnamese refugees in the United States. The bill would defer removal of nationals of Vietnam for a 24-month period, in accordance with a U.S.-Vietnam Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that specifically excludes the deportation of pre-1995 immigrants who came to the U.S. in the wake of the Vietnam War.
Today, U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris and Dianne Feinstein (both D-CA) and Representatives Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) and Grace Meng (D-NY) led a group of lawmakers in a bicameral letter urging the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to explain and reconsider their position prohibiting DACA recipients from receiving advance parole to allow them to travel internationally for humanitarian, educational, and employment purposes.
Congressman Alan Lowenthal today joined with Congressman Lou Correa and Congressman-elect Harley Rouda in issuing the following statement regarding a Department of Homeland Security effort to renegotiate a 2008 agreement with Vietnam. The Administration's effort would result in Vietnam War-era immigrants from Vietnam being subject to deportation back to Vietnam:
Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) today led a coalition of 26 House Members in urging the President, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of Homeland Security to maintain current protections afforded to Vietnamese refugees in the Unites States. Most notably, the letter sent by the Members calls for the continued inclusion in a U.S.-Vietnam Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of language that specifically excludes the deportation of pre-1995 immigrants who came to the U.S. in the wake of the Vietnam War.
http://On Tuesday, December 11, Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) led a coalition of 14 Members of Congress on a letter urging Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen to restore the ability of Dreamers to travel abroad.
Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) today issued the following statement in response to President Trump's State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress:
"For all its flaws, last night's State of the Union speech hit new lows when the President reiterated his xenophobic immigration proposals, framing his plans in a divisive and shameful demonization of immigrants.
Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) today joined with five of his House colleagues in urging the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to immediately release hundreds of Cambodian and Vietnamese individuals recently detained by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The Members are also calling on DHS to provide an explanation for any changes in ICE procedures leading to the recent spike in detentions among these communities across the country.
Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) today issued the following statement condemning President Trump's executive order banning refugees and citizens of Muslim nations:
"I condemn in the strongest terms the President's executive order banning refugees and the citizens of Muslim nations. This ban, whether temporary or not, is shameful, wholly un-American at its core, and as written, unconstitutional.
"During my time in Congress, I have strongly supported comprehensive immigration reform that would provide a pathway to citizenship while securing our borders and fixing our broken immigration system. While the Senate passed a bipartisan bill by wide margins last year, the House leadership has yet to even call a vote, though this bill would pass with support from both parties.