Washington D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement in response to President Donald Trump’s announcement of immigration focused executive actions today:
“The immigration system in the United States is broken and needs to be reformed. Building unnecessary walls, attacking local law enforcement by threatening grant funding, demanding costly mass deportation, and damaging relationships with international partners is misguided and reprehensible. Instead, we must have a clear, humane and legal way for those who seek to come to our country to flee violence and instability, or seek new opportunities, to build a better life in the United States.
“I agree that a secure border is important for our national security. Contrary to the inflammatory rhetoric that President Trump chose to espouse during his campaign, our southern border is more secure today than it has been in decades. From 2006 to 2016, the United States drastically increased our border security budget, which has contributed to the fact that we have had zero net immigration from Mexico for the last three years. The United States has taken responsibility for our border security, and any claims that Mexico should or will pay for a wall is not only foolish but illustrates the President’s disturbing ignorance when it comes to foreign affairs.
“I am dedicated to fixing our immigration system. A comprehensive solution must include immediate changes to our inhumane and costly private immigration detention facilities that lack proper safety oversight. Allowing immigrants to become productive members of our society will only strengthen our communities, our economy, and our country’s future. I applaud our region’s local mayors and Governor Inslee for stating clearly that Washington state will remain a safe haven for those in search of safety. Our local leaders understand that maintaining safe communities and protecting the rights of recent immigrants are do not conflict with one another.
“In Congress, I have strongly advocated for deportation relief, reforms to our immigration detention policies, and for comprehensive immigration reform that provides justice and equity for all people, regardless of where they were born. I join my colleagues in saying unequivocally that Washington state should stand by our values and fight to keep families together.”