Press Releases

 Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement after President Obama’s announcement that he would expand deferred action for millions of undocumented immigrants:

“I strongly support the President’s executive action on deportation relief.  This action is long overdue and will bring millions of undocumented immigrants out of the shadows. It will provide relief for many families and children living in constant fear of deportation by allowing for discretion to focus law enforcement resources on individuals who truly pose a risk to our communities.  I’ve met many undocumented immigrants who are law-abiding fathers, mothers, and children who have lived in the United States the majority of their lives and have contributed greatly to communities.  I do not believe these individuals should be deported or be forced to live in constant fear of being deported.  This executive action is a good step, but millions of undocumented immigrants will continue to live in fear.  To truly address our broken immigration system, Congress must pass a permanent comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) bill.

“Congressional inaction on this issue is incredibly frustrating because CIR has bipartisan support and could pass tomorrow if a vote were allowed in the House.  Over a year ago, the Senate passed CIR with large bipartisan support and the House introduced a CIR bill shortly afterwards.  This means that for well over a year, Congress has had the votes to pass landmark CIR with a pathway to citizenship.  Shamefully, Speaker Boehner and House Republican leadership have refused a vote on the bill and obstructed the process for purely political reasons. In the meantime families and children have continued to be ripped apart by our broken immigration system.    

“Both Republicans and Democrats agree that we must address the fact that 11 million undocumented immigrants are currently living in the shadows.  However, House Republicans have not only failed to offer a plan to address this problem and obstructed legislation that does, they’ve also insisted on moving backwards with continued attempts to repeal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which provides deportation relief for DREAMers.  The failures of Republican leadership have forced the President to use his legal authority to act.  His executive action to provide relief for millions is well within his legal authority. There is a long list of Presidents who have used deferred deportation as a form of discretion, including Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush  Obama is simply expanding the list of those who should receive deferred action and I commend him for doing so.  In Congress, I have strongly advocated for deportation relief, reforms to our immigration detention policies, and for CIR.  I will continue to do all I can to work with my colleagues to pass a meaningful CIR bill that keeps families together.”

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith made the following statement in response to continued calls by Republican for U.S. ground combat troops in Iraq and Syria:

“The incessant call by Republicans for U.S. combat ground forces to be sent into Iraq and Syria is ill-founded and does not comport with reality. We did that before, and it didn’t work. After nearly nine years of conflict, nearly 4,500 dead Americans, and more than $1.5 trillion spent, Iraq is still broken. Why do Republicans want to relive the failed policies of the past?
 
“Yes, we should support the Iraqis as they fight ISIL, but they must be the boots on the ground in their own country. With our support, they must reach the political and military objectives necessary to stabilize Iraq. Only then can the stability be lasting. For years, we had more than a hundred thousand U.S. troops in Iraq, yet the sectarian conflict raged on. This must be a local effort.
 
“Similar to Iraq, any U.S. strategy in Syria must continue to guard against U.S combat ground troops getting bogged down in another costly land war in the Middle East. A force is necessary to confront ISIL on the ground, but combat troops must be a domestic force committed to the long-term stability of Syria. We should train, equip and support moderate groups willing to confront Assad and ISIL. We need a capable and willing partner on the ground if we are to be successful in Syria as well as Iraq. But it must be a local force with the support of the local population.”
 
 

 

Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement after the President asked the Federal Communications Commission to protect net neutrality:

 
“I applaud President Obama for coming out strongly in favor of net neutrality.  An open internet is critical in promoting innovation, economic growth, and accessibility to information, and we must ensure that it remains free and open.  For these reasons, I believe the FCC should implement a strong rule that protects net neutrality.”

 

 

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith made the following statement as the House begins debate on an amendment to provide the President with the authority to train and equip moderate elements of Syrian opposition forces: 

“If left unchecked, ISIL could become a direct threat to the United States, but this isn’t just an American problem. ISIL poses a serious threat to our allies in the region. The people of the Middle East, with our support, must have a stake in this fight. 

“Today we will begin debate on an important piece of legislation that will, if passed, authorize the Administration to begin training and equipping moderate elements of the Syrian opposition. This opposition will become the backbone of the resistance to ISIL in Syria and the Assad regime. It will not be easy, but it is necessary. Eventually, there will need to be a capable force that can confront ISIL fighters on the ground and that ground force should not be United States military personnel. To achieve a lasting solution, the Syrians must help defeat this cancer. It is their country, and they will ultimately be part of what comes next. 

“In Erbil, with our support, our Kurdish partners have resisted ISIL’s offensives. In Mosul, the Kurds and Iraqi Security Forces, with US airpower, took back the Mosul Dam. We saw the Iraqis fight off ISIL in Amerli with the support of US airpower. There is a formula for success and ISIL can be defeated. We must continue and expand our support in Iraq and we must develop moderate Syrian partner who can take the fight to ISIL on the ground.  

“With that in mind, I encourage my colleagues to support this amendment and give the Administration the authority it needs to develop a capable partner that can help us remove this threat from the Middle East and the world.”

Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement in remembrance of the anniversary of September 11th:
 
“Today marks 13 years since the tragic day that we lost 2,977 Americans to brutal and horrific terrorist attacks in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.  I know that for myself and for our nation, the pain of that day remains fresh in our hearts.

“My thoughts and prayers remain forever with the victims of 9/11 and their families.  We must recognize that without our dedicated first responders who showed unparalleled courage, the toll would have been much greater.  The police, firefighters, and emergency medical teams that responded on 9/11 are true heroes, who in the face of evil and terrorism, risked their lives for others and displayed the true resolve and values of our nation. 

“On this day of observance, we come together as a nation to remember these horrific attacks against our country and to honor the heroes who sacrificed their lives to save others.  We will never forget.”