Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Congressman Garamendi Helps Introduce House Comprehensive Immigration Bill

October 3, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA) is proud to announce that 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. Garamendi and many other House Democrats have introduced this bill to bring comprehensive immigration reform back onto the national policy agenda.

Congressman Garamendi has asked Speaker John Boehner to allow the House to vote on comprehensive immigration reform ever since a similar bill passed with a comfortable bipartisan majority in the Senate in June. To date, the House Republican leadership has not allowed the House to consider a single comprehensive immigration bill, despite the fact that a bipartisan majority exists in the House to pass it.

H.R. 15 is designed to receive bipartisan support in the House. It contains the provisions of the commonsense, comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate in June 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.

Garamendi said, “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 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 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. Our immigration system is broken. It’s time to fix it.”

The only way immigration reform passes in the House is if Democrats and Republicans compromise.  That is why House Democrats are introducing today a tough but fair compromise bill that should have no trouble gaining bipartisan support.

This bill:

  • 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;
  • Protects American workers by cracking down on abusive labor arrangements against undocumented immigrants;  
  • 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 an earned pathway to 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. “Once we pass a bill and consult with the Senate, we can finally bring workers out of the shadows, 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.”