Immigration Reform

Immigration reform is the civil rights issue of our time. Fixing our broken system will secure our border, grow our economy and preserve our history as a nation of immigrants. For my entire political career, I have been fighting for justice and tolerance so all immigrant families are given a chance to contribute to America’s exceptionalism. As the son of immigrants, I know immigration is the cornerstone of our nation’s history and success.

Bob’s Focus

  • Reforming our broken immigration system
  • Securing our border, growing our economy and keeping families together
  • Standing up for DREAMers, who are part of America’s future and enhance the fabric of our society

Bob’s Accomplishments

Championing comprehensive immigration reform

As a member of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight,” Bob authored a bipartisan bill which would provide an earned pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States while securing our nation’s borders. The bill would also reunite families, hold unscrupulous employers accountable, reduce the deficit, increase wages, and create jobs. Senator Menendez, the son of Cuban immigrants, dedicated his vote in favor of the bill to his mother.

Providing relief from deportation for DREAMers and their families

Senator Menendez pushed for deportation relief for DREAM Act-eligible youth, leading to President Obama’s historic Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. Under DACA, those who meet certain criteria are granted work permits and temporary relief from removal that can be renewed every two years. Since the implementation of the program in August 2012, almost 700,000 young people have been able to transform their lives in measurable ways, all while contributing to the American economy. Senator Menendez has worked closely with the Administration to support new immigration policies that promote fairness, accountability and family unity. Bob believes these actions are a good first step in fixing our broken immigration system, but he remains committed to working with Congressional colleagues to create a long-lasting legislative solution.

Helping address the border refugee crisis

Bob led a bicameral effort to develop a 20-point policy plan to address the child refugee crisis at the southern border. The plan attacks this problem from a foreign policy perspective, a humanitarian perspective, a criminal perspective, immigration perspective, and a national security perspective. Senator Menendez also stood up to protect critical laws ensuring due process for refugee children forced to leave their homelands because of alarming levels of violence in the region.

Giving US children a chance to fulfill the American Dream

Bob was a lead cosponsor of the DREAM Act that would give students who came here as children the chance to earn legal immigration status. Senator Menendez successfully pushed for a Senate vote on the DREAM Act in 2010 and fought vigorously in favor of its passage. While a majority of the Senate supported the bill, it did not receive enough support to overcome a republican filibuster.

Helping widows and orphans with immigration applications

There are more than 200 surviving spouses of U.S. citizens fighting against deportation and countless other legal immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers who have been deported or risk deportation because of the death of a loved one. Bob authored a law enacted in 2009 that ensures orphans, widows, and widowers can continue to process their applications in the family immigration system, offering a lasting solution for legal immigrants impacted by the death of a loved one.