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Public Statements

Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. CHU. Mr. Chairman, I rise to oppose this amendment.

If this amendment passed, it would have a negative effect on many immigrants, many of whom work hard and play by the rules and are here legally, but may not have the ability to speak English well.

If this amendment passed, innocent people could be harmed. Foreign-born naturalized citizens would be at risk of erroneous detention and deportation by ICE. Not only that, detainees with serious, possibly life-threatening, medical needs would be placed in great peril due to the inability to make medical requests and communicate effectively with medical service providers.

If this amendment passed, lives could be lost because DHS and FEMA would have difficulty issuing danger warnings and evacuation instructions, as well as other critical notices in other languages during times of national emergency or catastrophe.

If this amendment passed, it would be harder for people to become citizens. That is because DHS would be prevented from providing foreign-language assistance to the elderly and disabled immigrants and refugees seeking to naturalize and become U.S. citizens.

We want immigrants to be fully assimilated in American society. This amendment would stop this process and, in fact, potentially cause great harm to many who do not deserve it.

I urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment.


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