The Serrano Report - Volume XVI, Issue #37
In Washington, DC
Congressman Serrano Speaks Out Against Family Separations on the Border
Congressman Serrano spoke out against President Trump’s inhumane family separation policy during the Appropriations Committee Full Committee mark up ofthe FY2019 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill. Congressman Serrano also became an original co-sponsor of the Keep Families Together Act,which has over 190 Democratic co-sponsors and no Republican support. The Keep Families Together Act would:
-Limit criminal prosecutions for asylum seekers,
-Increase child welfare training,
-Establish public policy preference for family reunification,
-Add procedures for separated families,
-Establish other required measures,
Click on the image below to watch his remarks during the hearing:
Congressman Serrano Lead Letter Urging Trump Administration to Rescind Decision to Use Lawyers from the Department of Defense as Temporary Assistant U.S. Attorneys
Congressman Serrano, Ranking Member of the Commerce Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee, sent a letter last week to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis in strong opposition of the Trump Administration’s decision to allocate lawyers from the Department of Defense to the Department of Defense to serve as temporary U.S. Attorneys for the purpose of prosecuting immigration violations.
The Trump Administration announced that it would be allocating 21 lawyers from the Department of Defense to assist the Department of Justice with the implementation of its new ‘zero tolerance’ policy. In the letter, Congressman Serrano blasted the wasteful spending of money for unnecessary immigration enforcement purposes, estimated to cost at least $3.3 million; the blurring of lines between justice enforcement and the U.S. military; and the Department of Justice questionable commitment to due process and fairness by assigning lawyers likely to lack experience dealing with immigration related cases.
"This flawed proposal raises serious concerns about DOJ’s commitment to due process and fairness. There is no indication that any of the temporarily assigned attorneys have experience prosecuting immigration-related cases. There is little indication that they will receive needed training to understand the various affirmative defenses and claims to asylum that they may encounter- and their legal duties in these circumstances. Additionally, the Appropriations Committee has received no justification that this effort is necessary. Immigration cases are generally better addressed in our immigration court system, which is better equipped and trained to understand the complexities of our immigration laws, rather than through the federal courts,” said Congressman Serrano.
To read the full letter click here.
Congressman Serrano Joins Democratic Appropriators to Demand Hearing on Trump Administration's Family Separation Policy
Congressman Serrano also joined House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey; Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Subcommittee Ranking Member, Rosa DeLauro; and Homeland Security Subcommittee Ranking Member, Lucille Roybal-Allard on a letter to their Republican counterparts demanding a hearing on the use of federal funds to implement the Trump Administration’s family separation policy.
“As you know, the Appropriations Committee has a unique role in providing resources for the Department of Homeland Security, which detains asylum seekers, the Department of Justice, which is executing the Trump-Sessions prosecutions of asylum seekers, and the Department of Health and Human Services, which cares for the minor children who have been separated from their parents,” the lawmakers wrote. “We urge you to immediately schedule a joint hearing to provide oversight on the use of federal funds for the Trump-Sessions policy of prosecuting asylum seekers and the resulting family separations, and to examine the impact on minor children who have been separated from their parents.”
“While we have been heartened that several prominent Republicans have criticized the Trump administration’s approach to family separation, it is time for action. Instead of blithely deferring to the Trump administration or issuing empty condemnations, Congress should exercise its Constitutional prerogatives and conduct rigorous oversight of this cruel policy,” the lawmakers continued. “The ongoing separation of families and subsequent detention of minor children is immoral and unacceptable. It is time for Congress to act, beginning with a hearing on these critical issues.”
Read the full letter here.
Congressman Serrano Joins Dreamers on 6TH Anniversary of DACA
Last week, Congressman Serrano joined Leader Pelosi, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) as well as other Democratic colleagues to acknowledge the 6th anniversary of DACA. Congressman Serrano has been an outspoken advocate on immigration reform and a proud cosponsor of the DREAM Act. He fully supports a pathway to citizenship for over 800,000 DACA recipients that only know the United States as home.
Congressman Serrano Introduces Three Amendments at Appropriations Committee Full Committee Mark Up
Congressman Serrano introduced three amendments at the Appropriations Committee Full Committee Mark Up on the Fiscal Year 2019 Defense and Financial Services and General Government Bills. His amendment to the FY2019 Defense bill would prevent Department of Defense lawyers from helping the Justice Department with border prosecutions. The amendment would stop attempts to militarize the border.
He also joined with Congressman David Price to introduce an amendment that would reinstate Obama era Net Neutrality rules that have kept the internet free up to now. Congressman Serrano has been a long time supporter of net neutrality and will vote in favor of the Senate passed bill that would reinstate net neutrality rules. Congressman Serrano’s third and last amendment would undo Mick Mulvaney’s decision to fire all members of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Consumer Advisory Board, an attempt to undermine the agency’s work to protect consumers.
Congressman Serrano meets with Danny Glover
Congressman Serrano met with actor, movie director and activist Danny Glover; Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research; James Early, former Director of the Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies at the Smithsonian Institution; and Alexander Main, Senior Associate for International Policy, Center for Economic and Policy Research. They sat down to discuss Latin American issues and the ongoing recovery efforts in Puerto Rico.
Congressman Serrano Meets With Dr. Walter G. Copan
Congressman Serrano met with Dr. Walter G. Copan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Director, to discuss the NIST FY19 Budget Request and upcoming NIST priorities. As the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Commerce Congressman Serrano has oversight on the Commerce Department and NIST.