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Tri-Caucus Chairs Submit Amendments to Omnibus Bill

May 2, 2017
Press Release
DHS Funding Requires Accountability Measures

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an effort to increase transparency, defend civil rights, and keep the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) accountable to their mission, the Chairs of the Congressional Tri-Caucus – Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chair Rep. Cedric Richmond (LA-02), and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Chair Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01) – submitted three amendments to the omnibus funding bill and released the following joint statement:

“The taxpayers we represent are asking for accountability from DHS. The Trump Administration would have us believe that DHS is using their limited resources to target terrorists and national security threats, yet the stories of separated families and fear in immigrant communities say otherwise. While DHS leaders like Secretary John Kelly assure Members of Congress that they are focused on targeting dangerous individuals, the data show that about half of those picked up in recent coordinated enforcement actions have no criminal convictions or simple traffic offenses, and only .01 percent of recent immigration-related prosecutions were for dangerous criminal acts. Too often we have received reports of civil rights and due process violations or heard conflicting stories following arrests and deportations. These sensible amendments would implement tried and tested accountability measures and ensure that the funds allocated to DHS are used responsibly. Although these amendments were rejected by the Rules Committee, we are committed to continue fighting on behalf of all of our communities.”

  • DEFEND CIVIL RIGHTS: The Secretary of Homeland Security shall, no later than 60 days after enactment of this Act, develop and implement a plan to provide ethics, civil rights, conflict management, and proper due process training to all current and future U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and officers.
  • TRANSPARENCY & ACCOUNTABILITY: The Secretary of Homeland Security shall, no later than 60 days after enactment of this Act, ensure that agents and officers of U.S. Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection wear body cameras when such agents and officers are engaged in official operations.
  • PRIOTIZE NATIONAL SECURITY: None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to increase the number of U.S. Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement Agents until the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, develops and implements a plan to restrict access to firearms and explosives from individuals on any no-fly list or terrorist watch list.

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The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), founded in December 1976, is organized as a Congressional Member organization, governed under the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives. The CHC is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories.

Media Contact:
Carlos Paz Jr. (CHC) 202-897-7718, carlos.paz@mail.house.gov
Alton Wang (CAPAC) 202-225-5464, Alton.Wang@mail.house.gov
Kamara Jones (CBC) (202) 226-9776 Kamara.Jones@mail.house.gov