Sending Office: Committee on Foreign Affairs – Minority Staff
Sent By:
Rachel.Levitan@mail.house.gov

Support Legislation to Keep Central American Families Together and Address Root Causes of Violence

Read Washington Post and Univision Pieces on Legislation Below

Current Co-Sponsors (75): Engel, Torres, Espaillat, Sires, Crowley, Gutierrez, Wasserman Schultz, Norton, Raskin, Meeks, Huffman, Deutch, Correa, Khanna, Lee, Soto, Lewis, Pallone, Velazquez, Gonzalez, Napolitano, Titus, Blumenauer,
Rosen, Gomez, Maloney (Sean Patrick), Welch, Veasey, Serrano, Gallego, McGovern, Barragan, Pascrell, Jayapal, Castro, Kihuen, Roybal-Allard, Cicilline, DeGette, Aguilar, Davis (Danny), Walz, Clarke, Payne, Vela, Frankel, Lofgren, Smith (Adam), Shea-Porter,
Matsui, Lowey, Keating, Vargas, Kennedy, Moulton, Bass, Brownley, Wilson (Frederica), Ellison, Jackson Lee, Pocan, Lynch, Hanabusa, Cohen, Clark, Lujan, Davis (Susan), Foster, Grijalva, Castor, Eshoo, Moore, DeLauro, Schakowsky, Waters 

Organizations in Support (22): Southern Poverty Law Center, Oxfam America, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), National Organization for Women, International Rescue Committee, Church
World Service, The National Network to End Domestic Violence, Futures without Violence, Women’s Refugee Commission, International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) at the Urban Justice Center, HIAS, American Jewish World Service, Jewish Women International,
Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Migrants, Center for Gender and Refugee Studies at UC Hastings College of the Law, Human Rights First, International Center for Research on Women, National Coalition Against
Domestic Violence, National Immigrant Justice Center, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Dear Colleague,

We write to ask you to join us as a co-sponsor of the Central America Family Protection and Reunification Act (H.R. 6193) which we introduced last week.

Text of the legislation can be found
here
, and recent pieces on our legislation can be found in the
Washington Post
and
Univision
.

Our legislation rejects the Trump Administration’s cruel decision to separate children from their parents and requires the State Department – through our embassies in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala – to play a robust role in keeping the families of
immigrants together. While President Trump has signed an executive order that claims to end the inhumane policy of separating parents from their children by standing up a policy of indefinitely detaining up to tens of thousands of families in makeshift jails,
the consequences of his heartless action will have long-lasting repercussions.

This bill also sheds needed light on the domestic violence, rape, sex trafficking and femicide driving so many brave women and children toward safe harbor in our country.
The very families escaping these horrors are the same ones President Trump has chosen to tear apart.

Specifically, the bill does the following:

  • Requires the State Department – through our embassies in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala – to prioritize supporting governments and citizens of these countries to facilitate immediate family reunification. This means working with Central
    American governments and citizens to help them locate their children and be reunited with them immediately. The bill also obligates the Secretary of State to report to Congress on implementation of this policy.

 

  • Requires reporting from the State Department on gender-based violence, including violence against indigenous women, in the Northern Triangle countries and the inability of perpetrators of this violence to be successfully prosecuted. This
    information will be useful for Congress, the courts and the public in rejecting Attorney General Sessions’s absurd claim that domestic violence should not be grounds for asylum.

 

  • Requires the Secretary of State to develop a strategy for reducing gender-based violence in the Northern Triangle.
    This strategy will be developed in coordination with the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, the Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment at USAID and the President of the Inter-American Foundation.

 

  • Requires reporting on gang and organized crime-related violence in the Northern Triangle, with a particular focus on violence against children. It further requires reporting on the ability of authorities in these countries to prosecute
    the perpetrators of these crimes.

 

  • Creates an Office of Victims of Crime Committed against Individuals Removed from the United States at the State Department. This office will study serious crimes committed against individuals deported by the Trump Administration to the
    Northern Triangle.

 

  • Requires the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to address the psychosocial and health impact that the Trump family separation policy will have on Central American children. In coordination with the USAID Administrator, the Secretary
    of State will be required to develop a strategy to provide targeted assistance to address the long-term impact of family separation on children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

 

We very much hope you will join us as a co-sponsor of this legislation. Please contact Eric Jacobstein at
Eric.Jacobstein@mail.house.gov to sign on.

 

Sincerely,

 

Eliot L. Engel

Ranking Member

Committee on Foreign Affairs

 

Norma J. Torres

Co-Chair

Central America Caucus

 

Adriano Espaillat

Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Family Issues, Foreign Affairs, Government, Homeland Security, Immigration, Judiciary

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