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Congressman Gene Green

Representing the 29th District of Texas

Immigration

Our district is home to one of the largest immigrant populations in the United States. The Northside and Eastside have been the traditional port of entry for immigrants coming to Houston and the greater Gulf Region for nearly a century. Unfortunately, our national immigration policy has been broken for too long and has inflicted an incalculable toll on our communities – from holding back economic development to unfairly denying young people an opportunity to pursue their dreams.

Immigration Reform

For these reasons, I have been a strong supporter of comprehensive immigration reform in Congress that would enable undocumented immigrants with no previous criminal record to apply for residency and earn U.S. citizenship. This is crucial to bringing our undocumented population out of the shadows and enabling them to be productive members of our society.

Thousands of the families in the 29th Congressional District have relatives who are undocumented but have children who were born here and are U.S. citizens. I have co-sponsored several such bills that would provide relief to members of our community, including the DREAM Act and the Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) ASAP Act of 2009.  I have also held an annual Citizenship Day for almost twenty years to give eligible legal residents the opportunity to fill out an application for U.S. citizenship with the help of local volunteers.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

I strongly support the Department of Homeland Security‘s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative will help young people to be able to receive a two-year work visa and further their education without fear of being deported.

There are over 68,000 Texans who have received deferred action under the program, the second highest number in the country. Our district has one of the highest numbers of young people (over 12,000) in the country who qualify for deferred action, and I hope as many will take advantage of this opportunity as possible.

It is important to remember that deferred action is only a temporary status and does not confer the protections that becoming a legal permanent resident or a U.S. citizen would; such changes can only be approved by Congress. It is very important that our nation's elected officials in Washington take up this debate, fix our country's broken immigration system, and create a pathway for all of our nation's young people to have to chance to achieve the American Dream.

For more information on the DACA process, please visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ website here

DREAM Act

The DREAM Act is federal legislation that, if passed, would potentially benefit over one million young people living in the U.S. by allowing undocumented immigrant children who graduate high school and attend college or serve in the military for two years to become legal, permanent residents. I am a strong supporter of the DREAM Act and have been a co-sponsor of the bill every time it has been introduced in Congress. These students are and will continue to be members of our community and should not be penalized for their parents' failure to abide by immigration laws. In December 2010 I had the honor of voting in favor of this important bill, which passed in the House of Representatives but was defeated in the Senate. Fortunately, Texas is one of the few states to have its own DREAM Act, allowing undocumented students who attend and graduate from a high school in Texas to pay in-state tuition when they attend a state college or university.

Border Security

As your representative in Congress, I have voted in support of stronger border security measures and to limit illegal crossings of our nation's borders. Over the past several years, Congress, with my support, has increased available resources for border security, including having doubled the number of Border Patrol agents since 2005. As a result of this increased enforcement, net migration from Mexico into the United States reached zero in 2011 and 2012, and the number of apprehensions of foreign nationals along the border reached a 40-year low last year. It is important that our nation’s border officials have the resources necessary to protect our country from drug smugglers and other illicit contraband while making sure that our ports of entry run smoothly and do not impede the everyday activities of our state’s border communities.

More on Immigration

June 8, 2013 Event
Congressman Green's annual Citizenship Day gives eligible legal residents the opportunity to fill out an application for U.S. citizenship with the help of local volunteers.
January 28, 2013 Press Release

Washington, DC – In response to the bipartisan immigration reform proposal released today, Congressman Gene Green issued the following statement in support of their efforts:

October 30, 2012 Event

Join Congressman Green for an informational seminar about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  The seminar will cover on topics such as who qualifies, what documents are needed to file for the petition, and what to expect from the process.

For more information please contact Shirley Martinez, of Congressman Green's office, at 281-999-5879.

June 23, 2012 Event
Eligible legal residents will have the opportunity to fill out an application for U.S. citizenship for free with the help of volunteers
June 11, 2011 Event

Our Annual Citizenship Day event will offer legal residents of the United States the opportunity to complete all the steps necessary to apply for citizenship in one stop. Attorneys will be available to review the completed N-400 applications, passport photos will be taken also. While services at Citizenship Day are free of charge, applicants must still pay the usual application, fingerprint and postage fees.

June 15, 2008 Press Release
Houston, Texas – Thanks to the help of community and corporate volunteers, more than 75 legal residents began the process of becoming an American citizen at Congressman Gene Green’s 14th annual Citizenship Day on June 14.  
 
“It was a moving experience to see these men and women take a huge step toward accomplishing their goal. Some of them have been waiting many years to have the opportunity to even apply,” Green said.
 
June 2, 2008 Press Release

Houston, TX – U.S. Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas) will help legal residents fill out and send applications for citizenship Saturday, June 14 at 8:00 a.m. at Houston Community College’s Northline Campus  at 8001 Fulton Street in Houston.

 

June 9, 2007 Press Release
(L-R) Rep. Gene Green, Ralph Palafox of NALEO, Olga
Rodriguez of USPS, Sylvia Halfhill, Joyce Ellis and Jimmy
Jackson of USCIS, and Veronica Sanchez of JP Morgan
June 1, 2007 Press Release
Houston, TX Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas) will help legal residents fill out and send applications for citizenship Saturday, June 9 at 8:00 a.m. at Houston Community College’s campus in the Northline Mall in Houston.

 

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