I am writing regarding your concerns about recent actions by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) separating children from their parents at the border when they enter the country illegally. I appreciate and share your concerns.
I released the following statement on this issue on Tuesday, June 19, 2018:
“I support emergency legislation that would quickly address keeping families together while we continue to work on longer term solutions to prevent these crises. We also should not overlook that over the past few months over 10,000 children have come here unaccompanied without any parents and over 160,000 over the past four years have come here unaccompanied. The Department of Homeland Security also has reported a troubling increase of over 300 percent in adults and children arriving at the border fraudulently claiming to be a family unit. We have also had a rise over the past several years in dangerous gang members, such as those from MS-13, entering our country that we have to stop.
No one is happy with the status quo of our broken immigration system that results in the heartbreaking situations of children being separated from their parents at the border, dangerous MS-13 gang members entering our country and bringing violence to our communities, or human smugglers and traffickers exploiting the desperate or vulnerable – particularly unaccompanied children. Similarly, most are unhappy with bad policies such as “catch and release” which rewards those who do not follow the law and provides perverse incentives for criminals. The needed long-term solution to strengthen and protect our borders also protects those most vulnerable. We also have a current asylum process, and DHS has instructed individuals and families seeking asylum that they will not be separated when entering through a legal port of entry, instead of crossing a dangerous border.
We need a humane, bipartisan solution for all of these children and families and I am committed to working with my colleagues to address these issues as well as securing our border, addressing the status of DACA recipients, and removing the incentives that create these crisis situations. We can find bipartisan solutions that show we are compassionate nation and a nation of laws that protect our borders.”
I was pleased that the President signed an executive order on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 to keep families together. Now Congress must work on legislation to more permanently address this issue.
Thank you again for contacting me. It is a privilege to serve you in the Tenth District. I may also be contacted at my Sterling office at 703-404-6903, or my Washington, D.C. office at 202-225-5136. By visiting http://comstock.house.gov, you can sign up to receive my email newsletters and follow my efforts to serve you. If I may ever be of service, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Member of Congress