Press Releases

Smith Statement Condemning President Trump’s Executive Action to Block Refugees and Suspend Visas

Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement in response to President Trump’s irresponsible executive order regarding refugees and visas:

January 27, 2017

“President Trump's reckless executive order on refugees and visa restrictions is contrary to America’s founding principles and threatens our nation's security. The President has chosen to act in direct contrast to our nation’s proud history of helping those in need. President Trump's actions will only create divisions within America, stoke fear and hate, and help recruit more terrorists and extremists to attack America, as well as our partners and friends.

“Refugees--many of them women and children--already undergo an extremely comprehensive and thorough U.S. Government vetting process before being admitted, including scrutiny by the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State Department, intelligence agencies, and others. Applicants for this status are held to the highest level of security screening through which we evaluate travelers or immigrants to the United States, and the process typically takes between 18-24 months. If U.S. security agencies cannot verify details of a potential refugee’s story, that individual is not allowed to enter the United States. 

“The fact that refugees want to make the United States their new home should be a source of pride for us. Even as President Trump threatens our principles in the short term, American values will prevail in the end.”

Congressman Smith Statement on President Trump’s Indiscriminate Federal Hiring Freeze

Congressman Smith released the following statement in response to President Trump’s executive order calling for a hiring freeze of federal workers:

January 26, 2017

“President Trump has failed to show that he understands the difference between a presidential campaign and the serious business of governing. To solve the challenging problems the President will undoubtedly face, he should review the facts, as well as engage in pragmatic conversation and thoughtful debate. President Trump’s current approach to governance, reliant on gimmicks and sound bites, seems doomed to fail from the beginning.

“Any successful government or business leader understands that forcing indiscriminate cuts and hiring freezes on no merits-- other than to fulfill a misguided campaign promise-- is the wrong approach. This across-the-board hiring freeze only serves to undermine the efficiency and effectiveness of our Federal government, create uncertainty for our economy, and impose untold impacts on both Washington state and the country.

“This incredibly short-sighted move to bar federal hiring will have an enormous impact on the care of our nation’s veterans, denying them access to essential care and resources. As recently as this past fall, the Department of Veterans Affairs had a staggering 45,000 job openings nationwide. With an average of more than 20 veterans taking their own lives each day, President Trump has decided to slam the door shut on critical mental health care providers, physicians, and other staff from being hired to help former service members get the care they need. The VA Puget Sound Healthcare System in Seattle is not spared from this, and is still without a permanent director for the foreseeable future.  This rash move is an embarrassment.

“As if to justify the freeze, the Trump Administration has alluded to a dramatic expansion of the federal workforce in recent years. In reality, the Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms a very different set of facts. In December 2016, there were 2.8 million employees on the federal payroll. This is a 3 percent increase since May 2014. In comparison, the total civilian workforce, excluding federal employees, grew by about 4.9 percent between May 2014 and December 2016. In truth, the number of federal employees is approximately the same now, 2.8 million, as the number when President Barack Obama took office, 2.79 million. Even under the Administration of Republican President Ronald Reagan, federal employment never dipped as low as it is today. Mr. Trump should check the veracity of his talking points.”

Smith Statement on President Trump's Misguided Immigration Executive Order

Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement in response to President Donald Trump’s announcement of immigration focused executive actions today:

January 25, 2017

“The immigration system in the United States is broken and needs to be reformed. Building unnecessary walls, attacking local law enforcement by threatening grant funding, demanding costly mass deportation, and damaging relationships with international partners is misguided and reprehensible. Instead, we must have a clear, humane and legal way for those who seek to come to our country to flee violence and instability, or seek new opportunities, to build a better life in the United States.

“I agree that a secure border is important for our national security. Contrary to the inflammatory rhetoric that President Trump chose to espouse during his campaign, our southern border is more secure today than it has been in decades. From 2006 to 2016, the United States drastically increased our border security budget, which has contributed to the fact that we have had zero net immigration from Mexico for the last three years. The United States has taken responsibility for our border security, and any claims that Mexico should or will pay for a wall is not only foolish but illustrates the President's disturbing ignorance when it comes to foreign affairs.

“I am dedicated to fixing our immigration system. A comprehensive solution must include immediate changes to our inhumane and costly private immigration detention facilities that lack proper safety oversight. Allowing immigrants to become productive members of our society will only strengthen our communities, our economy, and our country's future. I applaud our region’s local mayors and Governor Inslee for stating clearly that Washington state will remain a safe haven for those in search of safety. Our local leaders understand that maintaining safe communities and protecting the rights of recent immigrants are do not conflict with one another.
 
“In Congress, I have strongly advocated for deportation relief, reforms to our immigration detention policies, and for comprehensive immigration reform that provides justice and equity for all people, regardless of where they were born. I join my colleagues in saying unequivocally that Washington state should stand by our values and fight to keep families together.” 

Smith Statement on President Trump’s Reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule

Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement in response to President Trump’s decision to reinstate the Global Gag Rule. Also known as the Mexico City Policy, this rule was first introduced in 1984 at the U.N. International Conference on Population held in Mexico City, and is a global barrier to comprehensive women’s health care.

January 24, 2017

“In reinstating the Global Gag Rule as one of his first executive orders, President Donald Trump has undone years of progress. International family planning programs are very important for fostering manageable and healthy families around the world. By supporting international family planning efforts, we can help families around the world avoid extreme poverty, lack of access to health care, educational, and economic opportunities. Even without this step backwards, U.S. funds are already prohibited from being used to perform or promote abortion services abroad by the Helms Amendment to the 1973 U.S. Foreign Assistance Act. 

“I am deeply disappointed that only a day after the 44th Anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that upheld a woman’s right to choose, President Trump has shown a flagrant disregard for women’s health across the world by limiting free speech and access to family planning services.” 

Congressman Smith Recognizes Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Congressman Smith released the following statement in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day:

January 16, 2017

“Today, I join in celebrating the life and the achievements of Martin Luther King, Jr. and honoring Dr. King’s dream of a nation where individuals are not judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

“While we have not yet achieved Dr. King’s full vision of equal rights and opportunities for every American, we have come a long way from when Dr. King spoke to our country from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. As we continue our work to build a better future for all Americans, we must remember Dr. King’s message of transformative racial and economic justice. Dr. King’s legacy inspires us each to do our individual part to create broad-based opportunities for all and battle inequality throughout our society.”