Reforming our immigration system is long overdue. Our current laws, regulations, and enforcement do not recognize the importance of sound immigration policies to our economy and national security. We cannot afford to wait any longer to reform our immigration system in a comprehensive way.
Immigration is one of the great strengths for our nation. People from all over the world have come to our country because they see opportunity in America and a chance to build a better life for themselves and their families. The hard work and talent of immigrants have helped grow our economy and have strengthened our country for all Americans.
Legal immigration is not an obstacle to growth, but rather supplements our economic competitiveness and American jobs by attracting needed workers, high-skilled entrepreneurs, and investors. This can all be accomplished while keeping families together in a way that is consistent with American values.
I have advocated on behalf of immigrants through supporting key legislation and other advocacy efforts during my time in Congress:
- Standing up to the Trump Administration’s dangerous executive orders banning refugees: I am an original cosponsor of the SOLVE Act and the SOLVE 2.0 Act, which would bar any federal spending on President Trump’s harmful travel bans. I have condemned these executive orders in the strongest possible terms and remain dedicated to supporting refugees and immigrants in our communities.
- Defending DACA and Keeping Families Together: I am strongly opposed to the President’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and have taken action to defend DREAMers and other immigrant youth. I am a cosponsor of the DREAM Act, and an original cosponsor of the American Hope Act of 2017, in support of providing a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and other immigrant youth, who were brought here as children by no fault of their own. I also sent a letter to the president along with other members of the Washington delegation, urging the President to work with Congress to pass legislation to protect DREAMers. I cosigned a letter to then-Secretary Kelly, condemning his suggestion that border agents may separate children from their families when attempting to cross the border. I am committed to supporting immigrant youth and keeping families together.
- Ensuring an Accessible Justice System: I am an original cosponsor of the Access to Counsel Act, which would make certain that those held or detained while attempting to enter the United States are guaranteed access to legal counsel. Under current US law, there is no right to appointed counsel in immigration removal proceedings. 70% of families with no representation are deported. This bill would ensure access to counsel for noncitizens and unaccompanied children who are detained at airports, ports-of-entry, and detention centers.
- Opposing discrimination against immigrants: Cosponsor of the Freedom of Religion Act, which would prohibit travelers, refugees, and immigrants from being denied entry to the United States based off their religion or lack of religious beliefs.
- Supporting sanctuary cities and local immigration policies: I am an original cosponsor of the Safeguarding Sanctuary Cities Act of 2017. This legislation would ensure that any state or local authority cannot lose federal grant funding if it limits or restricts compliance with an immigration detainer request. Seattle is at risk for having federal funds cut as a self-identified “sanctuary city.” Stripping sanctuary cities of funding for not complying with certain federal immigration laws is unconstitutional and would only harm our communities.
The immigration system in the United States is broken and needs to be reformed. I am dedicated to fixing the system. Allowing for immigrants to become productive members of our society will only strengthen our communities, our economy, and our country's future.
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More on Immigration Reform
“The Republicans just reneged on their responsibility to properly fund the federal government because they were too busy giving away a $1.5 trillion dollar tax cut to corporations and the wealthy. By falling back on another short-term continuing resolution, almost a quarter of year past the due date for proper appropriations bills, they have clearly demonstrated that they are not willing to do their job. Their lack of action will directly and negatively affect the people who reside in the Ninth Congressional District and across the country.
Washington, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement on passage of the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report:
“This week, the House of Representatives voted to approve the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report. This legislation establishes the policies of the Department of Defense that impact our service members, their families, and our local communities.
“Today’s budget vote is the height of irresponsibility. The resolution passed today is not a legitimate budget. It is the vehicle for reckless tax cuts that will drive up the deficit and overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest Americans. Tax cuts for the rich will do little to stimulate our economy or help the middle class. Since 2001, the Bush tax cuts have cost us trillions in lost revenue, and produced virtually no economic growth. Another tax cut now will only further jeopardize our economic and national security.
SEATTLE – Today, Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) convened local stakeholders in support of the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act to dramatically reform the injustices in our current immigration detention system.
Washington, D.C. – The ranking members of six House committees sent a letter to their Republican counterparts and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan urging them to allow H.R. 3548 – the Republican bill authorizing the costly, destructive expansion of the border wall – to be considered for amendment in each of their respective committees before the bill goes to the full House for consideration.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) introduced H.R. 3923, the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act, legislation to reform the systemic problems in our immigration detention system. Our current system is inhumane, unjust, and driven by private, for-profit corporations like The GEO Group, which operates the Northwest Detention Center located in Tacoma, Washington.
Join Congressman Adam Smith for a Town Hall Meeting
Ninth District Congressman Adam Smith is looking forward to meeting with constituents to hear their concerns, answer questions and discuss issues facing Congress.
Sunday, September 24, 2017 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Newport High School
4333 Factoria Blvd SE
Bellevue, WA 98006
Space is limited so please RSVP if you are able to attend.
“The Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act is an affront to due process that unfairly targets our immigrant communities. This anti-immigrant bill is a blatant effort to support the Trump Administration’s mass deportation agenda.
"Ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is irresponsible and contradicts who we are as Americans. DACA provides deportation relief to almost 800,000 immigrants, nearly 18,000 of who live in Washington state. These immigrant youth, known as DREAMers, represent a generation of immigrants who were brought to our country as children, through no fault of their own. Today, DREAMers are actively pursuing the American dream in many fields, including serving as members of the Armed Forces, and becoming teachers and doctors.