I'm an original cosponsor of the U.S. Citizenship Act, President Biden’s plan to overhaul the American immigration system with a bold, inclusive, and humane framework for the future. This bill would provide millions of hardworking, undocumented immigrants with a pathway to earned citizenship, including DREAMers, Temporary Protective Status (TPS) recipients, and essential workers who have made enormous sacrifices during the pandemic; prioritize family reunification and keeping families together; and bolster the country’s long-term economic growth. The bill would also equip the country to address root causes of migration that force people to leave Central America and restore the U.S.’ commitment to human rights.
In the 116th Congress, I helped pass the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019. This bill codifies a legal status for those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and creates a pathway to citizenship for them and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders.
Private Detention Centers
Since coming to Congress in 2017, I've cosponsored the Justice is Not For Sale Act to prohibit federal agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from using private, for-profit detention centers.
I voted in favor of H.R. 2740 and H.R. 2500 - both of which passed the House - to block construction of President Trump’s southern border wall. I am also an original cosponsor of the Keep Families Together Act, which would prohibit the federal government from separating families at or near U.S. borders except if a child is being trafficked or without their legal guardian.
I cosponsored and voted to pass the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019. This bill increases the family-based immigrant visas and the employment-based immigrant visas available per country. I also cosponsored and voted to pass the NO BAN Act to overturn the President’s unconstitutional immigration ban on select countries and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021.
In the 115th Congress, I introduced H.R. 6055, the Keep Our Cities Safe Act of 2018 to protect local and state governments from federal penalties for enforcing their own immigration and public health policies.
In September 2020, I traveled to the Irwin County Detention Center with my Hispanic Caucus colleagues to hear directly from women detainees who received nonconsensual medical treatments while in ICE custody. In response to claims of medical abuse, some of these women were deported or scheduled to be deported from the U.S. My colleagues and I wrote to the Trump administration demanding they stay these deportations, release all victims from ICE custody, and allow these women full access to federal investigators.
In December 2018, I traveled to the southern border and camped out for 15 hours overnight to hear from asylum seekers about their grueling journeys, understand their experience at our border, and investigate their interactions with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). Earlier this year, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) report indicated that then-Secretary Kirtsjen Nielsen lied to Congress about manufacturing capacity issues at the southern border, allowed CBP agents to improperly turn away asylum seekers. I have called on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to investigate her for perjury.
Additional Supported Legislation
No Federal Funds for Public Charge Act of 2019
Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act of 2021
HEAL for Immigrant Families Act
Citizenship for Essential Workers Act
Families Belong Together Act