Press Releases

Congressman Smith Statement on Concerning Immigration and Customs Enforcement Actions

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement in response to extremely disturbing reports in numerous states across the country that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have been targeting individuals who have a legal right under current law to be in the United States:

February 15, 2017

“Any attempt by the Trump Administration to reverse course on long-standing protections afforded under the Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is completely unacceptable. To deport those acting in accordance with DACA flies in the face of American ideals, and shuts the door on members of our communities who have done no harm. Anyone facing deportation proceedings must be afforded appropriate access to counsel, and their due process rights protected.

“Under the Obama Administration, I raised serious concerns about Immigration and Customs Enforcement activities and called for transparency about the agency’s actions. I strongly believe that our immigration policy can be conducted in a way that keeps families together, benefits the economy, and protects the rights of the vulnerable. The Trump Administration must keep Congress updated about the goals and objectives of these “enforcement actions,” and well as the process and procedure by which they are being carried out.

“I call upon the Department of Homeland Security, as well as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to clarify their standards on DACA recipients. Senselessly scaring communities through a lack of transparency and strong-arm tactics is shameful.” 

Congressman Adam Smith visited Compass Veterans Center on Friday, February 10th, to deliver valentines made by local students through his office’s second annual Valentines for Vets program. Congressman Smith wants to make sure that our veterans receive recognition and thanks for their service around Valentine’s Day. 

On Monday, February 13th, Congressman Smith’s staff delivered additional valentines to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) of Washington and Seattle Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital. Students from eighteen elementary schools participated in the Valentines for Vets program this year, making over 1,000 valentines for local veterans. This outreach effort wouldn’t be possible without the support of our local students and teachers. This annual program continues to be an engaging activity to help teach young people about the role of the members of the armed services and the sacrifices they make for us.   

Participating Schools:

  • Hamlin-Robinson Elementary
  • Wing Luke Elementary
  • Gregory Heights Elementary
  • Mount View Elementary
  • Beacon Hill International Elementary
  • McMichen Heights Elementary
  • Southern Heights Elementary
  • Cedarhurst Elementary
  • Dunlap Elementary
  • Sherwood Forest Elementary
  • Neeley O’Brien Elementary
  • Bowl Lake Elementary
  • Wildwood Elementary
  • Hilltop Elementary
  • Green Gables Elementary
  • Cascades Elementary
  • Mirror Lake Elementary
  • Lake Grove Elementary 

See more photos here:

Smith Statement on U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling Upholding American Values

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Smith released the following statement in response to the Ninth Circuit Court decision on Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s challenge to President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration. The court determined today that the recent suspension of President’s travel ban should remain in place:

February 9, 2017

“President Trump’s executive order banning refugees is in clear contradiction of America values. I am pleased to see that a three-judge panel for the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling that temporarily blocked President Trump’s executive order.  His reckless actions regarding refugees and visas—and insulting a federal judge—are contrary to America’s founding principles and threaten our nation’s security.  I applaud the State of Washington for bringing this lawsuit, and I will continue to advocate for smart, thoughtful policies that advance our national interests and live up to our ideals.” 

Smith Statement Announcing Commitment by Secretary of Veterans Affairs Nominee Shulkin to Support Seattle VA Hospital

Washington, D.C. – After meeting with individual veterans as well as Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs) over the past year, Congressman Smith and his staff have worked to help identify and address core issues at the Seattle VA. Congressman Smith has continually heard of obstacles that veterans face in accessing care. which largely stem from unfilled management positions, an overreliance on “acting” roles that lack decision-making authority, and frequent turnover in leadership. These deficiencies have led to a de facto paralysis at the Seattle hospital, leaving many veterans out in the cold. Today, Congressman Smith released the following statement following conversations with VA Under Secretary Shulkin:

February 7, 2017

“I applaud the commitment by VA Under Secretary Shulkin to send a team of management improvement specialists to the Seattle Veterans Affairs Hospital within 60 days. This pledge is the result of months of hard work, phone calls, and coordination between myself, my staff, and Dr. Shulkin. I shared with him the alarming stories from veterans in and around my District, and I fought to ensure that not only were their voices heard, but that their concerns were brought to the attention of the proper officials.  Dr. Shulkin’s commitment to sending this “Tiger Team” is the first step of what I hope will be many towards better outcomes for our veterans. The work of this VA team to improve hiring, retention, and leadership at the facility is badly overdue, and I look forward to working with them in coordination with VSOs in our community to make impactful changes.” 

Here’s How Holders of Special Immigrant Visas Contribute to U.S. National Security

Today, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA), made the following statement about the sacrifices and contributions made by holders of Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) on behalf of the United States and its national security:

February 3, 2017

zing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 14.5px; color: rgb(24, 57, 86); font-family: Roboto, sans-serif; font-size: 18px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">“Our interpreter was like a brother to us. He risked his life, his family’s life, so we could actually work over there, and we need to get him here.”

Robert Morisseau, U.S. Marine Corps veteran

“If anyone deserves to be an American, it’s our interpreter—since he sacrificed it all for a place he’s never even set foot in.”

–Ramiro “Ram” Lopez, U.S. Marine Corps veteran

“The bravest person I’ve ever known went by the nickname Suge Knight…. A Sudanese Muslim, Suge served as my scout platoon’s interpreter during our deployment to Iraq in 2007 and 2008, and he went on every patrol and mission with us, no matter the circumstances.”

–Matt Gallagher, U.S. Army veteran

“We made a promise. We are crippling ourselves in a potential future conflict by having future local nationals refuse to help us because of our handling of the current SIV situation.”

–Andy Sliva, U.S. Marine Corps veteran

“Our Afghan interpreters are now facing the risk of life, liberty—their families are in danger. All because they did the right thing. ... And now we’re abandoning them.”

–James Miller, U.S. Marine Corps veteran

“She inspires me. … I’m so excited to see what she does for our country and the world.”

–Kelsey Campbell, U.S. Air Force veteran, speaking about her Iraqi interpreter who is now resettled in the U.S.

“Sam and Ford both have incredible stories of early ambition, self sacrifice, and service to two countries who have been a war for quite some time. They were childhood friends and saw an opportunity with the invasion of 03’ to do something for their country [Iraq]. They both signed up to be interpreters for U.S. forces almost immediately, one of them was only 17 years old at the time. I met the two of them in 2007 during my deployment to Rutbah, Iraq. Upon meeting them it was obvious they have been living with Marines for years as they had all of the gear and knew all the lingo—including how to insert an explicative in every possible sentence (as Marines do.)”

“I cannot imagine how different how raids would have been had we not had them with us. There is a lot of uncertainty in dynamic situations but they provided the clarity we desperately needed. They had a sense of the area and always knew long before us if something wasn’t right or when to be suspicious of others. They were not always allowed to be armed but took it in stride. They had to sleep and eat in the filthiest conditions but never complained. They were paid even less than us and still, we never heard a word of it. 

“I stayed in touch with both Sam and Ford and was fortunate enough to meet with them in Chicago years after I got out of the military. One is now a U.S. citizen and the other a green card holder, both were going to school. It goes without saying that these men saved American lives, they left their families for years to work with us, and deserve to have a chance at the American dream. For they are everything that make us great.”

—Doug Jackson, Marine Corps veteran

“When I was in the army, when I put on the uniform, they treated me as a brother.”

–Former Iraqi interpreter for the U.S. Army Othman Al Janabi

“We made a promise and we have to keep it. We are weaker if we don’t keep our promise to our allies.”

–Joe Jenkins, U.S. Marine Corps veteran

“I would like to see the interpreters who were beside me on every patrol I went on, get what they were promised.”

–Colt Smith, U.S. Marine Corps veteran