The story of America’s greatness is rooted in our immigrant history – our commitment to opening our doors to people from every corner of the world and every walk of life. Over and over again, immigrants like my Polish and Irish relatives came to America with their unique traditions in search of a better life for their families. They started businesses and built communities, fueling America’s growth and economic success. Today, we are a stronger and more prosperous nation because of the diversity of their traditions and their hard work. I am committed to upholding the legacy of this uniquely American story and fighting against those who seek to undermine the value and economic importance of immigrants.
I currently serve as Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees funding for the Department of Homeland Security. My committee is tasked with providing enough funding to our immigration enforcement agencies to address legimate threats like the drug trade and human smuggling while also ensuring these agencies operate humanely, support the legal immigration system, protect the rights of people seeking refuge, and don’t spend valuable federal dollars targeting undocumented people who are not a threat. During my chairmanship, we have invested millions in agencies like USCIS to decrease backlogs in visa processing, end family detention, and build new processing centers that will help decrease the time immigrants spend in custody.
Yet, the problems in our immigration system extend well beyond the boundaries of my subcommittee. There is no doubt that our immigration system is broken, which is why I supported a comprehensive immigration reform that passed the Senate during my first year in the chamber. While the bill never became law, it did important things like creating a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already living in the United States and created an improved process to admit foreign workers. This Congress, I am a cosponsor of the US Citizenship Act, which addresses the root causes of migration, provides a pathway to citizenship and prioritizes smart border control investments.