Jan 152015
 

There are nearly 40 million first-generation immigrants living in our country today, including about 12 million people who are undocumented. Between 2000 and 2010, nearly 14 million immigrants entered the United States. In 2008, more than one million people were naturalized as U.S. citizens. About 60% of all illegal immigrants are from Mexico and about 20% are from Central America. Family reunification is the reason for most legal immigration to the US. The number of immigrants who became legal permanent residents in 2009 as a result of family reunification (66%) exceeded those who became legal residents on the basis of employment skills (13%) or for humanitarian reasons (17%). Opponents of illegal immigration believe immigration laws should be better enforced and some believe undocumented immigrants living here should be deported. Some say that even legal immigration should be sharply curtailed. Immigration supporters claim our economy needs every person who contributes to our society, as most immigrants do. They remind us that our nation was created by, and attained greatness through, the acceptance and contributions of immigrants. Last Congress, our Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill that increases our border patrol budget, offers a protracted path to citizenship for the 12 million undocumented people currently living here, and provides eventual citizenship for immigrants who came to America as children. This bill was not considered by the House.

Pending Legislation:

House version of S.744 – Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act

I oppose reforming current immigration policy and wish to defeat the House version of S.744

I support a path to citizenship for all undocumented people currently living in the United Sates, citizenship for immigrants who came to the United States as children, increases in our border patrol budget, and wish to pass the House version of S.744

I support identifying a legislator who will sponsor a bill to better enforce all immigration laws including those relating to the deportation of undocumented immigrants

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

China maintains very firm control over its population. Human rights advocates claim the abuses of this communist nation are many. Chinese authorities quickly arrest any person they consider subversive or who openly disagrees with state policy. Arrestees are often held for long periods of time without due process. It is estimated there are more than 500,000 people currently in custody who have not been charged or tried. China’s infamous “re-education through labor” camps still operate, allowing police to imprison people for as long as four years without a trial or judicial review. These camps have increasingly been used by police to silence ordinary Chinese citizens petitioning to redress grievances against local officials. China’s human rights defenders are often harassed and placed under house arrest. Increased censorship of the Internet and other media greatly restricts free speech. China’s critics claim that international pressure, including the withholding of trade, is the only way to stop these abuses. Beijing supporters counter that the revocation of trade is a double-edged sword. Recently, China’s new administration has decided to ease its one-child policy for city-dwelling couples. This change allows couples to have two children if either the husband or wife is an only child. Among this and other reforms, it has also said it will abolish penal colonies for political prisoners.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.491 – Global Online Freedom Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current China human rights policy and wish to pass H.R.491

I support promoting the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media; using all appropriate instruments of U.S. influence to support the free flow of information without interference or discrimination; deterring U.S. businesses from cooperating with Internet-restricting countries in effecting online censorship, and wish to pass H.R.491

I support identifying a legislator who will sponsor a bill to impose trade sanctions on China for violating the human rights of its citizens

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Each year, more than 30 million non-immigrants cross our borders. These travelers include students, tourists, workers and businesspeople. Many of these visitors overstay their visas and elude detection due to lax enforcement by our Customs and Immigration Service. Our government has mutual agreements with about 30 friendly nations that permit people to cross each other’s borders without visas or any prescreening. At least 25 million people enter our country this way each year. It his estimated that more than 800,000 people have remained in our country with expired visas. Immigration control proponents claim we need to track each person who enters our country and enforce the limits imposed by their visa.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.2631 — Visa Overstay Enforcement Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current visa entry policy and wish to defeat H.R.2631

I support making it a felony for any alien to be unlawfully present in the United States for a period of 30 consecutive days except because of illness or any other extenuating circumstance; requiring such an alien to be punished in the case of a first offense, with a fine of not more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both; and in the case of a subsequent offense, with a fine of not more than $15,000 or by imprisonment for not more than five years, or both. Declares that an alien convicted of a first offense may not be admitted to the United States for 5 years and may not be granted a visa for 10 years; and with a subsequent offense may not be admitted to the United States, and may not be granted a visa, and wish to pass H.R.2631

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

The government of Saudi Arabia, led by its royal family, has often been criticized for its treatment of religious and political minorities, guest workers, homosexuals and women. In 2011, it proposed to criminalize basic human rights such as freedom of expression, assembly, and association. Advocates say thousands of people have been secretly arrested, detained and tortured while others have been killed in uncertain circumstances. Saudi authorities continue to suppress the rights of 9 million Saudi women and 8 million foreign workers. At the start of 2013, it was estimated that about 45 maids from Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Philippines and India were awaiting execution in Saudi Arabia. Human rights groups say that migrants are at high risk of being victims of bogus charges. Maids often work for months without pay and are physically abused. They say a domestic worker facing abuse or exploitation from her employer might run away and then be accused of theft. Victims of rape and sexual assault are at risk of being accused of adultery and fornication. The Philippines government recently signed an ‘historic’ agreement that gives Filipino workers more rights. Human rights advocates also say Saudi women enjoy few freedoms their foreign-born counterparts do. Saudi Arabia’s male guardianship system forbids women from traveling, driving, conducting official business or undergoing certain medical procedures without permission from their husbands, fathers and in some cases their own sons.

Pending Legislation: None

I oppose reforming current Saudi Arabia human rights policy

I support identifying a legislator who will sponsor a bill to impose trade sanctions on Saudi Arabia for violating the human rights of its citizens and guest workers

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

In 2011, after decades of civil war, South Sudan won its independence from Sudan. However, this conflict still rages on over key issues related to oil, territory and borders. Sudan lost most of its oil fields, located in South Sudan, when this country was divided. However, South Sudan’s oil can only be exported through pipelines that run through Sudan. During this civil war, massive human rights violations were committed by government and militia groups including mass rape, torture, killings and the bombing of villages by government aircraft. More than 2 million people were also displaced. Human rights advocates say that enslavement still exists in Sudan and is encouraged by its government. Sudanese troops have reportedly attacked villages, killing the men and enslaving the women and children. Sudan has also has one of the worst child soldier problems in the world. It is estimated that at least 17,000 children have fought on both sides of this war. In the beginning of 2014, a conflict between South Sudanese troops loyal to its president and those loyal to his deputy recently escalated into ethnic violence, taking the lives of thousands. Months of fighting have prevented farmers from planting or harvesting crops, causing nationwide food shortages. The UN has called South Sudan’s food crisis the worst in the world, saying some four million people could be affected, and 50,000 children may die of hunger unless international help is increased. Human rights advocates say the humanitarian response in this region has traditionally focused on providing food, medical care and shelter while placing less emphasis on the safety and security of those affected by a complex humanitarian crisis. They say few well-coordinated efforts exist to prevent and respond to violence against women and children when they are refugees or internally displaced persons.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.1692: Sudan Peace, Security, and Accountability Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current Sudanese human rights policy and wish to defeat H.R.1692

I support developing a comprehensive strategy to end serious human rights violations in Sudan and to promote comprehensive peace and democratic reform; including an interagency plan along with a description of the resources and additional personnel required for the diplomatic, economic, intelligence, and military activities to be undertaken to address and end human rights violations; placing sanctions against Sudan or Sudanese individuals; mandating increased collection of intelligence information on Sudanese targets of sanctions, and wish to pass H.R.1692

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

DREAM Act is an acronym for the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act. This nickname was given to past legislation that attempted to legalize the status of an estimated 1.8 million young people living in America who were brought here as children by undocumented immigrant parents, many at a very young age. Most of these children have grown up thinking they were U.S. citizens only to discover their assumptions were in error when they applied for a driver’s license or social security card. These “illegal” Americans, many of whom have graduated from our schools and served in our military, are subject to deportation should they be detained by immigration or law enforcement officials. Most of these young people have never known any home other than America and are not familiar with the country they would be deported to. The Obama administration has suspend deportations of Dream kids. However, this action does not alter or confer lawful immigration status to an individual or provide them a path to citizenship.

Pending Legislation: None

I oppose reforming current DREAM ACT policy

I support giving citizenship to undocumented children who have grown up in the U.S. and authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security to cancel the removal of, and adjust to conditional permanent resident status, an alien who entered the United States before his or her 16th birthday and has been present in the United States for at least five years immediately preceding enactment of this Act; is a person of good moral character and is not inadmissible or deportable under specified grounds of the Immigration and Nationality Act; at the time of application, has been admitted to an institution of higher education or has earned a high school or equivalent diploma; from the age of 16 and older, has never been under a final order of exclusion, deportation, or removal; and was under age 35 on the date of this Act’s enactment, and wish to identify a legislator who will reintroduce S.729 – Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2009 (111th Congress 2009-2010)

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Nearly two-thirds of all undocumented immigrants have lived in the U.S. for at least 10 years and nearly half are parents of minor children. Additionally, a large number of immigrant households are composed of mixed status families where one or both parents are non-citizens and one or more children are citizens. Undocumented immigrant families face many challenges including the trauma of migration, adjusting to a new culture, fear, poverty, finding work and the inability to access social services. Federal data shows that almost one in four people deported in 2010 was the mother or father of an American citizen. Child advocates claim that as deportation rates increase, so does the number of children from immigrant families placed in foster care. It is estimated that more than 5,000 children are currently living in foster care because their immigrant parents have been either detained or deported. In many cases these families never reunite. Advocates say Child Protective Service workers are reluctant to undertake reunification efforts when a parent is facing deportation or has been deported. Often, most don’t have the language skills to communicate with immigrant parents and are not aware of help offered by the Mexico Consulate in locating deported parents.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.406 – To provide discretionary authority to an immigration judge to determine that an alien parent of a United States citizen child should not be ordered removed, deported, or excluded from the United States

I oppose reforming current immigrant family policy and wish to defeat H.R.406

I support amending the Immigration and Nationality Act, in the case of an alien subject to removal, deportation, or exclusion and who is the parent of a U.S. citizen child, to authorize an immigration judge to decline to order such removal if the judge determines such action to be against the child’s best interests, and wish to pass H.R.406

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Undocumented American immigrants are drawn to the armed forces for the same reasons native-born Americans are. These include a steady job, the military lifestyle and patriotism. Many undocumented immigrants who join the U.S. military erroneously assume that citizenship goes along with enlisting. Policy changes by the Department of Homeland Security have made it much easier and faster for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE) to deport undocumented people, including military veterans. Our government has already deported 12,000 military veterans. ICE agents are supposed to take into account military service before making a decision to deport a veteran. ICE is also supposed inform the vet that he has the right to apply for citizenship even while being processed for deportation. Under a 1990’s law, a legal resident, including U.S. military veterans, can have their legal residency revoked and be deported if convicted of a crime, including crimes that occurred years earlier and for which the offender has served his sentence. Veterans facing deportation are still entitled to various educational and medical benefits but advocates say most don’t get the chance to use them because immigration officials are very aggressive in their efforts to deport undocumented people, regardless of whether they are veterans or not.

Pending Legislation:

S.1059 – A bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to deem any person who has received an award from the Armed Forces of the United States for engagement in active combat or active participation in combat to have satisfied certain requirements for naturalization

I oppose reforming current immigrant veterans policy and wish to defeat S.1059

I support amending the Immigration and Nationality Act to deem any person who has received an award from the U.S. Armed Forces for engagement in active combat or active participation in combat to have satisfied specified naturalization requirements, and wish to pass S.1059

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Many employers claim there is a shortage of workers in our nation. They say industries such as agriculture, nursing and the service industries have job openings that cannot be filled by U.S. citizens. They claim this labor shortage will hurt our global competitiveness and inhibit innovation and job growth. Guest workers are one solution to this problem. Under guest worker programs, people of foreign origin are temporarily invited into our country to work. Many employers say our policies should encourage the legal flow of high and low-skilled workers to keep our country competitive. The L-1 (inner-company transfers of foreign managers/executives) and H-1B (temporary employment of foreign workers in specialty occupations) are non-immigrant visa classifications. Guest worker opponents claim these programs are being exploited by employers who import guest workers for a certain job then transfer these workers to unapproved jobs, taking positions that Americans could fill. They also say guest workers often remain here illegally after their work permit expires.

Pending Legislations:

H.R.1773: AG Act

H.R.1760: Immigration and Naturalization Investment Ventures for Engineering, Science, and Technology in America Act of 2013

I oppose Reforming current guest worker policy and wish to defeat H.R.1773 & H.R.1760

I support establishing an H-2C nonimmigrant visa for an alien having a residence in a foreign country which he or she has no intention of abandoning and who is coming temporarily to the United States to perform agricultural labor or services; extending to these workers basic legal protections and better working conditions; prohibiting the admission of these worker’s spouses and children; offering financial incentives for workers to return home upon expiration of their visas, and wish to pass H.R.1773

I support providing conditional permanent resident status for an alien entrepreneur (and spouse and children) who is in the process of completing, or has completed, a graduate level degree in science, technology, engineering, math or a related academic discipline from an accredited U.S. institute of higher education; or is in the process of establishing a new business related to such study that meets specified employment and wage requirements and is admissible as an immigrant, And wish to pass H.R.1760

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

It is estimated there are nearly 12 million undocumented workers living here today. These people include nearly 25% of all workers in private households, at least 25% of all restaurant workers and more than 75% of all farmworkers. Studies have shown that undocumented immigrants contribute at least $150 billion to our economy each year. Undocumented workers also pay Social Security taxes but are not eligible to collect Social Security benefits. Most economists say immigrants, those here legally or not, benefit our overall economy. Polls have shown that 75% of all Americans believe that granting undocumented immigrants legal status would be good for our economy. Amnesty supporters claim many undocumented immigrants are doing important jobs no one here wants to do. They say that undocumented workers do not compete with skilled laborers, but rather complement them. This is because economies work best when workers become specialized and divide up tasks among themselves, thus eliminating the need for skilled workers to spend time doing unskilled jobs. In states with many undocumented workers, studies show that from 1990 to 2007, undocumented workers increased legal worker’s pay in complementary jobs by up to 10%. However, studies also show that undocumented workers tend to lower the wages of unskilled native-born workers by about 5%. Amnesty supporters claim legalizing undocumented workers will improve the working conditions of their occupations and will help them educate themselves, get better jobs and increase their contributions to society. Opponents claim an amnesty program will encourage more illegal immigration and is unfair to those trying to legally immigrate.

Pending Legislation: None

I oppose reforming current immigrant amnesty policy

I support providing legal permanent resident status for: certain undocumented or nonimmigrant aliens who are alien workers in an employee-shortage occupation and sponsored by a labor organization; those eligible for admission at a U.S. institution of higher education or are at least 65 years old, and wish to identify a legislator who will either reintroduce H.R.604 Worker Amnesty and Opportunity Act of 2003 (108th Congress 2003-2004), or a similar version thereof

 Posted by at 12:00 am