Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, announced Thursday that she is co-sponsoring the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act (House Resolution 15), a comprehensive immigration reform bill introduced recently in the House.
The bill has 180 co-sponsors and is based on the bipartisan legislation that passed the Senate this summer by a vote of 68-32.
“I am hopeful that this will be the year for commonsense immigration reform that secures our borders, strengthens our economy and provides a pathway to citizenship for hardworking undocumented persons living in the shadows,” Capps said. “This bill will not only provide needed relief to the families who have been torn apart by our current system but also provide our local economy with the workforce needed in our agriculture and hi-tech industries, among others. I am very pleased the president today called on Congress to act on this issue and urge the House leadership to bring this bill to the floor for a vote immediately. Now is the time to fix our broken immigration system.”
“Over 100,000 working mothers, fathers, youth and community members have been deported since a bipartisan immigration bill passed in the Senate,” said Dr. Marcos Vargas, executive director of CAUSE, a social and economic advocacy group. “The House leadership must allow a vote on H.R. 15 now to stop the separation of immigrant families and negative impact to our local and national economic security. Thank you to our local Congresswoman Lois Capps for her leadership as a co-sponsor of H.R. 15.”
“UnitedAg applauds Representative Capps for acknowledging that agriculture needs a stable and legal agricultural workforce as part of Congress’ effort to enact immigration reform legislation,” UnitedAg Executive Vice President Clare Marie Einsmann said. “An immediate legislative solution is essential to end the national farm labor crisis and ensure that California’s farmers and farm workers continue provide America and the world a plentiful and safe food supply.”
H.R. 15 includes many of the goal Capps has long supported, such as an earned path to citizenship and reforms to improve the current visa system. The bill also recognizes the contributions of Dreamers and our agriculture workforce by providing them an expedited path to citizenship — critical to our Central Coast economy. Finally, the bill includes important components for comprehensive immigration reform such as border security measures and employer verification. Despite the bipartisan passage of comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate, the House has not yet voted on any immigration legislation this year.
Capps has held numerous immigration roundtables throughout the district with a variety of stakeholders, including high-tech companies, faith leaders, workforce advocates and member of the agriculture industry to discuss the priorities of the Central Coast.
— Chris Meagher is press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.