A group of House Democrats proposed new legislation to challenge the Trump administration's harsh immigration policy.
Lawmakers on Wednesday introduced three bills that the legislators claim would protect immigrants and their families. Spearheaded by Reps. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), José Serrano (D-NY), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Donald S. Beyer Jr. (D-VA), the bills would ultimately limit the overreach of the "zero-tolerance" immigration policy.
Proud to introduce this strong legislative package with @RepJoseSerrano @RepBonamici @RepDonBeyer @RepJayapal @RepChuyGarcia to address immigration in our nation and protect the rights of immigrants & families. https://t.co/sWitlQbq7g pic.twitter.com/sD0J2e5pg9— Adriano Espaillat (@RepEspaillat) February 6, 2019
The Protecting Sensitive Locations Act would prohibit immigrant enforcement agencies from areas such as schools, courtrooms and houses of worship.
Another bill, the Reunite Every Unaccompanied Newborn Infant Toddler and Other Children Expeditiously Act, aims at reuniting separated immigrant children with their families—a task that has proven difficult for federal officials.
According to The New York Times, the Trump administration may have separated more than thousands of immigrant children than previously reported. Government inspectors believe the number of children exceeds the nearly 3,000 due to the "zero-tolerance" immigration policy.
The final bill in the package, the ICE and CBP Body Camera Accountability Act, would require Immigration and Customs Enforcement as well as Customs and Border Patrol officers to wear body cams. Footage obtained from these cameras would be used in any legal proceedings involving immigrants.
Espaillat has been a vocal opponent of the Trump administration in the past. In a press release from Wednesday, the New York congressman called President Donald Trump's attacks on immigrants "bigoted." His statement came shortly after Trump's divisive State of the Union address.
“President Trump has made the targeting of immigrants a central part of his administration’s policies while persistently [lobbying] bigoted, verbal attacks at immigrant communities,” Espaillat said.
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