Immigration

Our country was founded by immigrants who came seeking freedom. That desire for freedom and a society where merit, not birthright, determined an individual's life helped to shape the greatest experiment in self-determination known the world over as America.

The hard work and determination of immigrants, seeking an opportunity to live up to their full potential and to build better lives for their families, make America strong. The freedom immigrants have found here has unleashed their creativity and sparked the strongest economy in the world.

Immigrants from industrialist Andrew Carnegie to Google's Sergey Brin came to our shores, and in the process, created new innovative enterprises and unparalleled prosperity for the United States.

Today, people still look towards America and dream of a better life. Our colleges and universities attract some of the most gifted minds from around the globe. Talented entrepreneurs still see our country as a cradle for innovation and an area to pioneer new industries.

Zoe is the granddaughter of immigrants. She became an immigration lawyer and, before elected office, taught immigration law at the University of Santa Clara Law School. She knows that the country's immigration laws must be reformed if the United States is to succeed in the 21st Century.

As the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee, Zoe tries to cut through the divisive political rhetoric to advance common sense immigration policy solutions that are practical and will help America thrive.

Top-to-Bottom Immigration Reform

Today, our immigration system is failing our country. Its dysfunction shuts out the best and brightest minds rather than attracting innovators who could grow our economy and keep it competitive. It traps determined, hard-working individuals in a cycle that exploits them for their labor. It separates spouses and parents from children for years.

Zoe believes that we should be able to work in a bipartisan manner to fix this broken system through top to bottom immigration reform. With reform, we can protect American workers while meeting the economic needs of our country leading to greater growth and opportunities for everyone.

Rather than breaking families apart, we can unite them. Rather than expelling brilliant, highly-skilled students and entrepreneurs to compete against us from overseas, we should attract the best and brightest minds who want to help America succeed. Rather than failing to meet the needs of important sectors of our economy such as agriculture, we can help these industries legally employ their workforce.

By securing our borders and ensuring our laws are enforced, we can also regularize the status of those who currently live in the shadows to promote family unification and shared values like hard work and playing by the rules.

High Skilled Immigration Reform

Zoe has introduced legislation to curb H-1B visa outsourcing abuse and to start the overhaul of a broken high-skilled immigration program. The High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act of 2017 would curtail abuse of the program which has allowed replacement of American workers by outsourcing companies with cheaper H-1B workers. In several recent incidences, high-profile U.S. employers including Disney, Southern California Edison, and most recently the University of California San Francisco, have made news in this manner. The legislation prioritizes market based allocation of visas to those companies willing to pay 200% of a wage calculated by survey, eliminates the category of lowest pay, and raises the salary level at which H-1B dependent employer are exempt from nondisplacement and recruitment attestation requirements to greater than $130,000.

DREAM Act

Zoe was proud to support the DREAM Act, which would let young people who were brought to the U.S. as children come forward, register, and regularize their legal status. This would contribute to our nation's well being. Many of these young people have no memory of the land where they were born. Many speak only English and cannot speak the language of the land of their birth. Many times these children learn of their status while seeking to better themselves by pursuing higher education or to serve our country in the armed forces. The bipartisan DREAM Act would give these young people the opportunity to live freely, continue their studies, and their contributions to the country they love and call home. These young people are American in every way but their paperwork.

Important Information for DREAMers

Recently President Trump announced his administration would end deferred action for eligible youth. However, Court actions have temporarily blocked Trump from ending this program. If you have ever had DACA status before and haven’t committed a disqualifying criminal offense, you can still apply to renew. For more information on Deferred Action, including eligibility requirements, official forms, and how to apply, please click here.

To learn more about Zoe's work on immigration issues, please click on the news links below:

More on Immigration

November 20, 2014 Press Release
Lofgren: Tech sector will benefit from President's action

WASHINGTON, DC – Following the President's announced actions to administratively reform aspects of the nation's employment-based immigration system, U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, commended his progress and pushed for further actions to benefit the tech sector and the American economy.

November 20, 2014 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) applauded an Administration announcement today to temporarily protect some West African nationals currently in the United States from deportation to countries critically affected by the Ebola virus.

October 28, 2014 Press Release

Thirty-two House Democrats, led by Rep. Zoe Lofgren, released a letter today to President Obama about the manner in which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is detaining immigrant families and its plans to significantly expand family detention in the months ahead. The Members are joining a chorus of Senators in? expressing concerns to the President about these family detention policies.

August 6, 2014 Press Release

SAN JOSE, CAU.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) commended the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors following a 4-1 vote yesterday to authorize County staff to proceed with implementing a local "host family" program to help with the current humanitarian challenge of unaccompanied immigrant minors.

July 29, 2014 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Vulnerable children who are fleeing persecution and extreme violence in Central America are entitled to protection under domestic and international law, said U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) today. Application for asylum has been an important part of our immigration for decades. Repealing bipartisan protections for victims of human trafficking, slavery, and sex trafficking would irresponsibly return children to their traffickers.

July 23, 2014 Press Release
WASHINGTON , DC – Key border proposals issued today by the Republican House working group to address the humanitarian crisis at the southern border would carelessly return vulnerable children to traffickers for persecution and abuse, said U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose, Calif.).

Lofgren, the Senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, called for responding to the humanitarian crisis in a manner that ensures vulnerable children are not hastily returned to life-threatening circumstances:

July 16, 2014 Press Release
SAN JOSE, CA – Santa Clara County is ready to assist in the efforts to care for unaccompanied children crossing the U.S. border, announced local and federal officials today.

July 3, 2014 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Three Democratic lawmakers called on the Obama Administration to increase efforts to provide a safe and secure environment for tens of thousands of unaccompanied children apprehended on the U.S. – Mexico border.

May 6, 2014 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19) released the following statement today applauding a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) initiatives designed to encourage highly skilled and technically trained individuals working in the U.S. under the H-1B visa program to stay and contribute more fully to the U.S. economy.  The announced changes would allow the spouses of H1-B visa holders to apply for work authorization after 6 years of residence in the country:
 
April 30, 2014 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19) released the following statement reacting to the news of the deportation of Antonia Aguilar, a mother of three children in the Bay Area.  Earlier this week Rep. Lofgren introduced a ‘private bill' to provide relief for Ms. Aguilar after learning of her situation during a meeting with her son who attends college at San Jose State University:
 

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