Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Jerrold Nadler (10th District of New York)
Issues: Immigration, Judiciary Committee, Civil Rights
This Father’s Day, I made an unannounced visit to the Elizabeth Detention Facility in Elizabeth, NJ to speak with immigrant detainees being held after trying to enter our country seeking asylum. At the facility, I spoke with five fathers whose children have been ripped from their arms, and who have no idea when, or if, they will see their children again. These families have fled unspeakable violence, coming to this country in search of refuge and protection. Instead, they are welcomed by this Administration’s zero tolerance enforcement policy.
After my visit, I led over 190 House Democrats in introducing the Keep Families Together Act, which prohibits the Department of Homeland Security from separating children from their parents and restricts the prosecution of parents who are asylum seekers. This country was founded by countless individuals who fled political and religious persecution in search of freedom and opportunity in a new land. It is my belief that the decision to prosecute individuals today for seeking the same freedom is not only cruel, but un-American.
To learn more about the Keep Families Together Act, please click here.
The Need for Real Oversight by the House Judiciary Committee
VIDEO: Click here to watch Rep. Nadler’s opening statement at the Judiciary Committee’s oversight hearing with the FBI and DOJ.
Last week, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte called for an emergency hearing on the FBI and Department of Justice’s actions surrounding the 2016 election and the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails. In my view, there are more pressing issues that constitute a real emergency for our country. Our Committee has failed to conduct any oversight on election security; on the family separation crisis; on the status of the Dreamers; on the Justice Department’s decision not to legally defend the Affordable Care Act; on the Supreme Court’s recent decisions to undermine voting rights and workers’ rights; or on the President’s possible conflicts of interest and violations of the Emoluments Clause – all issues which fall under our jurisdiction. As Ranking Member, I have led my colleagues in requesting hearings on all these matters, yet our requests continue to go unanswered.
The Judiciary Committee cannot hide from our constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Administration, to protect our elections from foreign interference, and to stand up for our democratic institutions and the rule of law, and I will continue to press these points regardless of our position in the Minority. These issues cannot be ignored and it is our job to draw attention and fight for accountability from Congress and the Administration.
Protecting the Right for Every American to Vote
I was honored to speak at an event hosted by B’nai Jeshurun with Professor Ester Fuchs of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, Wendy Weiser, Director of the Democracy Project at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, as well as several representatives from various faith-based organizations to discuss the importance of protecting voting rights for all Americans.
In the last five years, the Supreme Court has made several important rulings that have weakened the Voting Rights Act, giving states the ability to draft racially gerrymandered districts and setting a precedent that I believe will further exclude voters from the democratic process. These decisions prove that much work remains in order to end voter suppression and protect the right to cast an equal ballot for all voters. Congress must continue to work to strengthen the Voting Rights Act, and I hope the Majority will work with us to protect voting rights for all Americans.