VIDEO: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Introduces Bill to Halt Deportation of Kailua-Kona Farmer, Andres Magana Ortiz

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) spoke on the House floor today urging Congress to pass a ‘private bill’ she introduced this week For the Relief of Andres Magana Ortiz (H.R.2794).

A similar bill was introduced by U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka to assist Chef Chai Chaowasaree in 2001. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, this legislation would adjust  Mr. Andres Magana Ortiz’s legal status and make him eligible for legal, permanent residence in the United States where he lives in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Mr. Ortiz is under threat of deportation under a Final Order of Removal issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The introduction of this bill follows a letter sent this week by Hawaii’s congressional delegation to DHS Secretary Kelly requesting that the Department reverse its decision to deport Mr. Ortiz.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said:

“The purpose of this bill is to help Mr. Ortiz with his extremely challenging situation, put him on a path to citizenship, and prevent his family from being torn apart. Without this legislation, Andres Ortiz faces deportation within days, after living in Hawaii for 28 years and working hard as a small business owner. His wife and children – U.S. citizens – have exhausted all of the options available to them before their father and husband is forced to leave the place he calls home in Hawaii. We need a pathway to citizenship for immigrants to ensure people who deserve to be here, can find a way to be a part of our great country.  We need immigration reform that keeps families together.”

Background: Immigration reform has been one of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s top priorities throughout her time in Congress.  She also co-sponsored two measures to protect families and children, including the DREAMer Information Protection Act (H.R. 532) which prohibits DHS’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) from being used for immigration enforcement proceedings and the BRIDGE Act (H.R.496) which codifies the DACA program.

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