Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District released the following statement on House Republicans’ legislation that fails to provide adequate funding for the humanitarian crisis at the border, weakens a human trafficking law, and eliminates protections for DREAMers.
“The legislation introduced by House Republicans fails to live up to the values that make our nation so great. Children from Central American, children as young as five years old, have risked their lives to escape extreme violence that has gripped Guatamala, El Salvador, and the murder capital of the world, Honduras.
“Instead of working with Democrats in a bipartisan manner to pass comprehensive immigration reform that addresses the humanitarian crisis on the border and fixes our broken immigration system, House Republicans have veered even further to the extreme right. Their legislative package weakens protections for victims of violence and human trafficking, fails to provide the resources necessary to improve the situation at the border, and weakens protections for DREAMers – kids who were brought here through no fault of their own and have worked to build a better life for themselves and their communities. In addition, it makes a distressing change for victims of domestic abuse who are seeking a visa to stay in the country. By eliminating the ability for a victim to continue working during the application process, it would leave many victims unable to make a living, increasing the chances they would have to rely on their abuser during that period.
“Pope Francis said, ‘this humanitarian emergency requires, as a first urgent measure, these children be welcomed and protected.’ Sadly in the House of Representatives, those words and that sentiment have been ignored by my Republican colleagues.”