March 29, 2018 - Washington, D.C. – In a letter released late last week, Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) led his fellow Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) members in calling on Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Thomas Homan to redirect ICE’s limited resources from the recently increasing number of I-9 work site audits to more strategic and effective vehicles for law enforcement and ensuring community safety.
This is another concentrated effort Costa has taken to ensure immigration laws are fairly enforced according to the realities communities across the United States face every day. He has consistently worked with local ICE officials in the Central Valley, Sacramento, and San Francisco for decades to ensure laws are followed justly and immigrants’ rights are protected. “We need to focus immigration enforcement on the real threats: transnational criminal gangs, human and drug traffickers, and terrorists,” said Rep. Costa. “Instead of using its limited resources to apprehend hardened criminals, ICE is sending its agents to go check employment paperwork. We need smart law enforcement, not policies that intimidate immigrants, divide communities, and undermine our economy.”
For years Congressman Costa has been advocating for comprehensive immigration reform, working with immigration officials, local community groups, and industry representatives to create a bipartisan plan for addressing what Costa sees as a “broken immigration system.” More recently, Rep. Costa has held numerous meetings with local businesses, agriculture groups and growers, immigration groups, and individual constituents regarding issues with the immigration system, including the I-9 work site audits in Fresno, Madera, and Merced counties. Costa also met with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra multiple times to discuss immigration in California earlier this year, including the role of state and local law enforcement, and sent his own official message to ICE Acting Director Homan regarding the I-9 work site audits earlier this month.
The letter to Homan Rep. Costa led as a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus states the “I-9 audits would be counterproductive, reduce reporting of crimes, undermine safety and harm the economy. ICE should instead focus its limited resources on hardened criminals, not hard-working individuals who are positively contributing to our communities.”