Senator Mazie K. Hirono was selected to serve on three subcommittees on the Judiciary Committee today. Hirono will serve on the Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security; Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights; and Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law. These committees will oversee matters of critical importance to Hawaii including immigration reform legislation, efforts to protect Hawaii residents' privacy online and visa reforms that would boost Hawaii tourism.
"I am eager to serve on these subcommittees that are of critical importance to Hawaii," said Hirono. "The immigration subcommittee has important work to do in the coming months as Congress considers immigration reform legislation. Hawaii has one of the largest percentages of foreign born residents, and issues involving immigration from Asia are especially important to Hawaii residents. The largest backlog of people waiting to come to the United States legally is from Asian countries, and as a member of the immigration subcommittee, I will make sure this issue isn't lost in the immigration reform debate. This post will also allow me to advocate for visa reform that makes it easier for foreign tourists to visit Hawaii and would create thousands of jobs in Hawaii.
"As a member of the subcommittee on privacy and technology, I will be on the front lines of efforts to protect Hawaii residents' privacy online.
"The fight for justice has always been a motivating force in my life, and I am eager to pursue that fight as a member of the subcommittee on human and civil rights," added Hirono.
Hawaii will be heavily impacted by immigration reform legislation. Hawaii has one of the largest percentages of foreign born residents and has a long history of Asian immigration. Three of the four countries with the largest backlog of people waiting to come United States are in Asia. Hirono herself is an immigrant, moving to Hawaii from Japan as a young girl.
As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Hirono introduced the VISIT USA Act, legislation that would cut government red tape and make it easier for foreign tourists, particularly from China, to visit this country. A University of Hawaii professor estimated that her measure would bring 300,000 more visitors and $600 million to Hawaii each year. Hirono plans on advancing similar measures as a U.S. Senator.
On the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, Hirono will be working to combat racial profiling and hate crimes, and to protect voting rights and other fundamental rights.
As a member of the Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, Hirono will oversee efforts to protect Hawaii residents' privacy online and tackle the privacy challenges of emerging technologies.