Press Releases

“President Trump's pardon of Sheriff Arpaio is an affront to the rule of law and a deeply disturbing use of Presidential Power to sanction discrimination. As Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arpaio flagrantly ignored clear Federal immigration enforcement guidelines and aggressively pursued policies of racial profiling. His continued violation of civil rights led to a conviction in a court of law for his unlawful immigration practices. Trump's pardon is an endorsement of the bigoted and racists actions that led to Sheriff Arpaio's conviction, and undermines the pursuit of justice that our system of government is built on.”

Armed Services Ranking Member Smith Statement on Trump Transgender Ban

Washington, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement about President Trump’s order on transgender military service:

August 26, 2017

“This Presidential order is a cravenly opportunistic act of discrimination against men and women who volunteer to defend the United States. 

"President Trump has no credible information suggesting that transgender service undermines military readiness. Yet he is willing to ruin lives and deface our government’s commitment to equality in an apparent attempt to secure funding for his border wall. Apparently, if Mexico won’t pay for the wall, President Trump has decided that honorable men and women in uniform should pay instead as their service is traded away for funding. I oppose this decision in extremely strong terms, and we will fight for its reversal.”

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.”