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Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. RYAN of Ohio. Mr. Chairman, I have a heart-wrenching story to share with the Congress and the American people, of which I would like this amendment to help take some action: the egregious 2007 case of a decorated airman's murder in my congressional district, the State of Ohio v. Claudia C. Hoerig.

According to the affidavit, Mrs. Hoerig, wife of the deceased, purchased a Smith & Wesson .357, learned how to use it, practiced in Warren, in Trumbull County, Ohio, and days later, on March 12, 2007, she allegedly shot her husband, Major Karl Hoerig, twice in the back of the neck and once in the back of the head.

After being charged with aggravated murder by the Court of Common Pleas of Trumbull County, Ohio, Mrs. Hoerig fled to her native Brazil, where she has found sanctuary for 5 years.

The issue here, Mr. Chairman, is that I have a family in my district that has not seen justice served. She went to Brazil, in which we have an extradition treaty, but the Brazilian Constitution says that Brazilian citizens can't come back to the United States. But the issue here is that in 1999 Mrs. Hoerig renounced her citizenship in Brazil, became a citizen of the United States of America. So we have every right to ask the Brazilians to send her back to the United States.

She needs to have justice served. The Hoerig family needs justice served, and Karl Hoerig deserves that as he rests in peace.

The Brazilian Government has, on numerous occasions, pledged to internally investigate this matter and investigate the possible renunciation of Mrs. Hoerig's citizenship on the following grounds: in that, in her sworn, signed affidavit, Mrs. Hoerig renounced her Brazilian citizenship on the occasion of her U.S. naturalization in 1999, and that the Brazilian Government has stated that it may, in fact, honor Hoerig's renunciation, given the serious criminal nature.

So this amendment, because I cannot seem to get the attention of the Brazilian officials, after numerous letters, numerous attempts, working closely with the State Department, can't get the Brazilians' attention. So this amendment is saying that we shall not use money to let Brazilians into the United States and allow them visas.

1.8 million visas are predicted to Brazilians in 2013. And I hope that some of us on both sides of the aisle can say that this man served our country. We have a woman who renounced her Brazilian citizenship, came to the United States, killed this airman, and went back to Brazil and now is in sanctuary there.

So I understand there may be some issues with this potential amendment here, but I will say, Mr. Chairman, that there are defense bills that will come to this floor, and I will attempt in some way to get the Brazilians' attention with the defense bills. There is foreign ops money, foreign aid that we use with Brazil. I will come to this floor as many times as I need to to try to get the attention of the Brazilian Government to make sure that Karl Hoerig and his family have the justice that they have earned, not just by being citizens of the United States, but also by serving this country so nobly for so many years.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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