Press Releases

We must do whatever we can to achieve a cease fire in the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Hamas led government in Gaza.  Hamas must reconsider and accept the cease fire offered by Egypt which Israel agreed to accept.  Suffering on both sides has been horrific and we desperately need a solution to stop the fighting.  

As a strong supporter of Israel I want to again express my support for the people of that country.  For too long they have lived under the threat of missiles falling out of the sky at any moment.  The people of Israel long for peace and I continue to pray that someday it will come.  I am also in contact with many of my Jewish constituents and my heart goes out to them as many have friends and relatives in Israel and all of them desperately want peace in the Middle East.  

I also have enormous sympathy for the people of Gaza.  They have suffered throughout this crisis as well, living in unimaginably horrible conditions.  Ultimately peace will only be achieved when the Hamas government is rejected and a viable two state solution is agreed to.  I know that the overwhelming majority of the people in Israel and Palestine just want peace.  

It is my constant prayer that this will be achieved.  In the mean time, again, we need a cease fire to stop the current suffering and I will continue to work with the Obama administration to find any way our country can help achieve that goal. 
Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement after the Senate Republicans blocked the Protect Women From Corporate Interference Act:

“I am disappointed that Senate Republicans blocked a vote on the Protect Women From Corporate Interference Act today, which would reverse the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision.  The Hobby Lobby ruling set a very dangerous precedent that allows employers to deny health benefits, in this case contraception, to employees based on a company’s beliefs.  I believe that health care decisions should be left to the individual, their doctors, and their families; not their employers.

“This legislation, which was introduced by my friend Senator Patty Murray, would make it illegal for a company to deny any worker health benefits that are covered by federal law and would restore the guarantee that women have access to contraceptive coverage through their employer.  In light of the Supreme Court ruling, it is critical that both the House and Senate pass this legislation.  I am a cosponsor of a companion bill in the House, and will work hard with my colleagues to build support for this bill.”

There is a  common misperception that the arrival of unaccompanied minors from Central America to the United States is an immigration problem and a failure of enforcement at our borders. It is not.  It is a humanitarian crisis. Our government has the responsibility to reflect our country’s values by treating these children in a humane way as they seek refuge from horrific levels of violence in their home countries.  For this reason, I support the supplemental appropriation request to manage this situation.

Our borders are secure as evidenced by the thousands of children that are in the government’s custody. They are being stopped by Customs and Border Patrol and that is the definition of border security. No border security measure can stop people from trying to cross the border to escape violence.  This crisis can only be stemmed by addressing the root causes of their migration and helping to improve conditions in their home countries.

These children deserve due process and the full protection that our current laws afford. I oppose simply sending these kids back without consideration of these protections, including asylum. To speed up the review of each child’s case, I support an increase in immigration judges, as well as legal representation that will help children to navigate the legal process. I will fight for these priorities to be implemented as we continue to work on humane solutions to this crisis.

Congressman Smith released the following statement on the one year anniversary of the Supreme Court of the United States striking down parts of the Voting Rights Act:

“A year ago today, the Supreme Court struck down key parts of the Voting Rights Act that protected voting rights in nine states that historically have had discriminatory voting practices.  This decision continues to threaten the right to vote for many Americans.  Any state can now implement Voter ID laws and redraw district lines to dilute the voices of large populations of communities of color without federal oversight.  We must be doing more, not less, to protect the rights of all people and ensure we have equal access to the polls.

“I am a cosponsor of the Voter Empowerment Act that would require each state to allow online voter registration, in addition to providing grants and other incentives to encourage states to better promote voter registration. The bill also prevents tactics like voter caging, and looks at the ways ballots and registrations are verified. I also cosponsored the Voting Rights Amendment Act which would restore parts of Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act while complying with the Supreme Court ruling.”
Today, Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA), Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO), and 43 House Democrats sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson urging him to review their detainer practices and to halt the use of immigration detainers in their current form.

“Through the [Secure Communities and Criminal Alien] Programs, DHS targets individuals encountered by local police – regardless of whether they are ever even convicted or charged with a crime – and funnels them into the deportation pipeline without an independent finding of probable cause for an arrest,” wrote the Members of Congress.  “This dragnet approach has not only fueled racial profiling, it has also targeted thousands of individuals who would be eligible to seek lawful immigration status under the immigration reform proposals currently being contemplated by Congress.”

Localities throughout the country, including Washington State and Colorado, have already limited compliance with ICE detainers due to costs, their negative impacts on the community, and concerns about constitutionality. In numerous cases, federal courts have found that current detainer practices fail to meet constitutional standards.

“Communities across the country, along with our courts, have spoken loud and clear,” the Members wrote.  “We urge the Department to undertake a full review of the detainer issuance process with the goal of reforming its practices and to discontinue the use of immigration detainers in their current form as part of the forthcoming immigration enforcement reforms.”

Read full text of letter here.