32BJ SEIU’s New Jersey District Decries Rep. Chris Smith’s Inaction on Immigration Policies

Newark— New Jersey’s own Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) has continually failed to take leadership to create a fair and efficient path to citizenship for hard-working immigrants who keep the economy running.

Because of Smith’s inaction, the fate of DREAMers, a community of people who came to the United States without documentation as children, but who were granted conditional residency under President Obama, remains in limbo. The deadline for House members to vote to discharge DREAM-Act related bills to push a vote on the floor is this week.

“Instead of proposing strong, bipartisan solutions and representing the majority of the electorate in the state’s 4th District, Congressman Chris Smith’s actions have proven he’s not a legislator who’ll stand for immigrants,” said Kevin Brown, Vice President and New Jersey State Director of 32BJ, one of the fastest-growing unions in the Garden State with 12,000 members in the state.

“Despite his many awards and commendations from immigration rights groups, Smith has also not been a champion of residents with TPS protections. While he is listed as a co-sponsor on DACA and TPS-related H.R. 4184 and H.R. 1468, these bills will not see the light of day. We need pragmatic leadership in the 4th who will champion bills that have a real opportunity to be voted on and passed,” Brown added.

Candidates vying for Smith’s spot have also reached out to Smith calling on the Congressman to sign onto the discharge petition in order to effectuate a process that would create an opportunity to vote on four DREAM Act-related bills. At the present moment, 213 Representatives have signed the petition for four DREAM Act-related bills to be voted on.

“The livelihoods and protection of our nation’s children should be a bipartisan issue. If I were privileged to be the Representative of the 4th District, I would sign the petition to discharge the DREAM Act and put it on the floor for a vote, Congressional Candidate Josh Welle said.

Jim Keady, who is also running for Congress to represent the state’s 4th District, said: “Despite overwhelming public support for those who emigrated here as children to be afforded a path to citizenship, our current Congressional leaders have instead spent their time and energy on a tax plan that amounts to a massive wealth transfer to the most fortunate among us, and hurts many New Jersey families in the process.”

32BJ stands with leaders who’ll stand with the electorate regardless of their party affiliation.

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With 163,000 members in eleven states and Washington, D.C., including over 12,000 in New Jersey, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.