Press Releases

LAWMAKERS CALL OUT SESSIONS FOR HOLDING CITY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUNDS HOSTAGE TO HIS EXTREME IMMIGRATION AGENDA

Justice Department admits new “sanctuary cities” policy will impose additional costs on local law enforcement

August 24, 2017

d indicate a heightened degree of coerciveness to the Department’s actions.  Please list each Department of Justice grant, program, or initiative for which the Department has conditioned,         or plans to condition, local jurisdictions’ participation upon an assessment of compliance with the two new express conditions described on p. 30 of the Byrne-JAG solicitation form.
  •       Does the Department of Justice believe that Byrne-JAG funding has helped local law enforcement agencies increase public safety, including by preventing and reducing shootings and homicides in their jurisdictions? 
  •       On March 6, Chuck Wexler, the executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, wrote an op-ed in which he said that “police chiefs warn that if their agencies are required to enforce federal immigration             laws, it will hurt their ability to investigate and solve serious crimes in their communities.  If people are afraid to have contact with the local police, they will not report crime, serve as witnesses, or tell police what is             going on in their neighborhoods.  Without information from the community, investigating crime becomes difficult and crime levels rise.”[x]  How do the Justice Department’s two new express conditions avoid                 creating this dynamic that Mr. Wexler highlighted?  
  •       Is the Justice Department able to provide any credible evidence that demonstrates how redirecting local law enforcement resources to enforce civil immigration laws will bring about a significant reduction in shootings         and homicides in the City of Chicago?  If so, please detail any such evidence. 
  • Thank you for your attention on this important matter.   We look forward to your prompt response.

     

     

     

    [1] Sessions Confirmation Hearing Responses to Questions from Senator Durbin, Response 1.a, available at https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Sessions%20Responses%20to%20Durbin%20QFRs.pdf.

    [1] https://www.bja.gov/jag/index.html, accessed on August 4, 2017 (emphasis added).

    [1] Sessions Confirmation Hearing Responses to Questions from Senator Durbin at Response 1.b. 

    [1] https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/attorney-general-jeff-sessions-we-cannot-accept-these-levels-violence-chicago.

    [1] https://www.bja.gov/Funding/JAGLocal17.pdf at p. 30.

    [1] Id.

    [1] See, e.g., Rafael Bernal, “Reports find that immigrants commit less crime than US-born citizens,” The Hill, March 19, 2017, available at http://thehill.com/latino/324607-reports-find-that-immigrants-commit-less-crime-than-us-born-citizens.

    [1] Kevin Rector, “Davis to DOJ: Making crime assistance contingent on local immigration policy 'perplexing,' 'concerning,’” The Baltimore Sun, August 15, 2017, available at: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/bs-md-ci-bpd-justice-letter-20170815-story.html.

    [1] Associated Press, “Cities baffled as Jeff Sessions targets them on immigration,” August 3, 2017, available at http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article165146222.html.

    [1] Chuck Wexler, “Police chiefs across the country support sanctuary cities because they keep crime down,” Los Angeles Times, March 6, 2017, available at http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-wexler-sanctuary-cities-immigration-crime-20170306-story.html.


    [i] Sessions Confirmation Hearing Responses to Questions from Senator Durbin, Response 1.a, available at https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Sessions%20Responses%20to%20Durbin%20QFRs.pdf.

    [ii] https://www.bja.gov/jag/index.html, accessed on August 4, 2017 (emphasis added).

    [iii] Sessions Confirmation Hearing Responses to Questions from Senator Durbin at Response 1.b. 

    [vi] Id.

    [vii] See, e.g., Rafael Bernal, “Reports find that immigrants commit less crime than US-born citizens,” The Hill, March 19, 2017, available at http://thehill.com/latino/324607-reports-find-that-immigrants-commit-less-crime-than-us-born-citizens.

    [viii] Kevin Rector, “Davis to DOJ: Making crime assistance contingent on local immigration policy 'perplexing,' 'concerning,’” The Baltimore Sun, August 15, 2017, available at: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/bs-md-ci-bpd-justice-letter-20170815-story.html.

    [ix] Associated Press, “Cities baffled as Jeff Sessions targets them on immigration,” August 3, 2017, available at http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article165146222.html.

    [x] Chuck Wexler, “Police chiefs across the country support sanctuary cities because they keep crime down,” Los Angeles Times, March 6, 2017, available at http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-wexler-sanctuary-cities-immigration-crime-20170306-story.html.

     

     

    Smith Applauds Grants to Densho & Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience

    Washington, D.C. – The National Park Service has announced $1.2 million in grants to preserve and interpret World War II Japanese American Confinement Sites. This second round of grants is in addition to $1.6 million awarded earlier this year for a total of $2.8 million.

    August 23, 2017

    “Congratulations to Densho and the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience for being awarded these competitive grants to help preserve crucial lessons from our past to help inform our present. Their projects work to maintain the memory of, and educate the public about Japanese American Confinement Sites where more than 120,000 Japanese Americans were imprisoned,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “Although Japanese American incarceration is one of the darkest chapters of American history, it is imperative for current and future generations to understand what occurred. These newly-awarded projects ensure this injustice will not be forgotten.”

    Japanese American Confinement Sites grants are awarded to outstanding organizations and entities working to preserve the history of U.S. Confinement Sites where Japanese Americans were incarcerated following the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan. The grants will fund a variety of protects aimed to tell this important story through creative means.

    The National Park Service has granted $452,582 to Densho for two of the organization’s projects, “Making Connections with the Japanese American Incarceration II: The Online Teacher Course” and “Sites of Shame – A Comprehensive Online Resource of the Confinement Sites.” The Wing Luke Memorial Foundation and Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience will receive $148,764 for the foundation’s project, “Inspiring Future Generations: Friends and Supporters Who Helped Those Incarcerated.”

    For more details about these grants and the program, visit https://www.nps.gov/JACS/projects.html

    “This week, the President has doubled down on his divisive and bigoted language. The renewed prejudice on display during his deranged press conference is further proof that Trump is morally unqualified for any elected leadership position, much less the position of President.

    “There is no debate, white supremacy and racism are abhorrent ideologies. In failing to clearly disavow hate groups that seek to divide our country, the President is emboldening white supremacists and neo-Nazis. The President’s persistent efforts to excuse racist, xenophobic, and violent groups must be condemned loudly and unequivocally.” 

    "The events that have unfolded today in Charlottesville, VA are incredibly tragic. The vile views espoused by White Supremacist movements must be swiftly and loudly condemned. I firmly believe that individuals have the right to express their thoughts and beliefs, but racism is unacceptable and we must be clear that it will not be tolerated. This is not who we are as a country.

    "In this time of incredible frustration and division, we must stand united as a country against bigotry, racism, and intolerance. We can, and will, rise above this. The behavior on display today is reprehensible. Those responsible for the loss of lives must be brought to justice. My thoughts are with those who have been affected and their families."

    Congressman Smith Presents Congressional Award Medals to Local Students at Town Hall Event

    Renton, WA - Congressman Adam Smith presented Congressional Award Medals to local students at his town hall event in Tukwila on Saturday, August 12, 2017. Rep. Smith released the following statement in advance of the awards ceremony:

    August 11, 2017

    “It is a privilege to see young students, like our local Congressional Award Medal recipients, demonstrate personal initiative and a sincere commitment to bettering Puget Sound communities. I look forward to hearing about the accomplishments of these young leaders in the future. Their teachers, mentors, parents, and communities should all be incredibly proud of their accomplishments. It is my hope that by presenting these awards at my town hall, I can celebrate the spirit of community and service, and help to encourage more students across the District to participate in Congressional Awards Program.”

    Established in 1979, the Congressional Award is the highest honor Congress bestows upon a youth civilian. In order to receive the award, these young Americans must demonstrate a commitment to voluntary public service, personal development, physical fitness, and exploration. 

    9th Congressional District 2017 Congressional Award Medal Recipients

     

    Bronze

    Gabriel Helms

    Owen Benda

    Silver

    Jamin Zheng

    Andrew Wittenmyer

    Jiayi Wang

    Malav Dipankar

    Angela Lin*

    Gold

    Nicholas Grosinger*

    Jessica Waller

    William Waller

    *Denotes students in attendance at the town hall. Students unable to attend will receive their Congressional Award Medals at an alternate date and time.

    [[{"fid":"635","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"2":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"2"}}]]Medalist Nicholas Grosinger

    [[{"fid":"634","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]]Medalist Angela Lin

    [[{"fid":"638","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"William Waller Congressional Award Medal","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"William Waller Congressional Award Medal"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"4":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"William Waller Congressional Award Medal","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"William Waller Congressional Award Medal"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"alt":"William Waller Congressional Award Medal","title":"William Waller Congressional Award Medal","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"4"}}]]

    Medalist William "Max" Waller