News from Representative DeGette

       

Dear Friend,

My visits last weekend to the U.S. border in Texas and a local Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in Aurora have made me more determined than ever to reunite families ripped apart by Trump’s family separation campaign and fix our broken immigration system. In addition, disappointing rulings from the Supreme Court highlight the need to secure reforms elsewhere as well. 

Last Saturday, I traveled with congressional colleagues along the U.S. border in Texas to witness the family separation campaign in action and speak with those affected. The next day, I met with detainees at a local ICE holding facility in Aurora, just a few miles outside of our district. What I witnessed continues to weigh heavily on me. The most disturbing meeting I had was with a group of 45 women at the ICE detention center in Port Isabel, Texas, who had been separated from their children. Many did not know where their kids were. Two were still breastfeeding when their babies were taken.

As a nation, we need to take a hard look at the way we treat people who are fleeing repressive governments and violence. We need to treat them with dignity and process them swiftly and accurately. If they must be deported back to their home countries, we need to do it in a just way -- especially if they’ve been separated from their children and not yet reunited. And we need to ensure that never, ever again in this country do we split up families. To achieve this, I’m sponsoring the Keep Families Together Act (H.R. 6135), but we must go further. Reining in ICE, which has clearly become a rogue agency, is also another crucial step we must take. Achieving real and lasting immigration reforms will be an ongoing challenge. We can't give up until we make these vital changes.

Several crucial Supreme Court rulings this week have also threatened many of our freedoms, from reproductive justice to workers’ rights. On Tuesday, the court issued a decision in the case of National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, allowing “crisis pregnancy centers” to continue deceiving women about their reproductive health. These facilities intentionally use misleading advertising to confuse and misinform women about their reproductive health options, specifically omitting their choice to have an abortion. Denying women this critical information is unethical and will put lives in danger. As co-chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus, I’ll continue opposing this shameful deception. 

The same day, the court also chose to uphold President Trump’s Muslim ban. This decision from the highest court of the land condoning the bigotry and discrimination present in this edict marks a dark and shameful day in our nation’s history. While I respect the authority of the Supreme Court, I am horrified by its ruling and will continue working to end this terrible policy. Though America has often failed to live up to its inclusive ideals, we must never give up until our country truly welcomes all people yearning to breathe free.

The court’s decision on Wednesday in the case of Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, ruled against fair-share fees in the public sector. This is a devastating blow to working families in this country who depend on strong unions for advocacy and security. Teachers, police officers, firefighters and countless others who serve our community will be affected. We must continue to fight for strong workplace rights and fair working conditions for all Americans.

These troubling decisions could be a frightening omen of things to come if President Trump and his allies in the Senate are able to appoint an extreme, far-right nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his retirement on Wednesday. This addition could tip an already-divided court, affecting our freedoms for generations, endangering abortion rights in particular more than ever before. The nomination process will likely happen quickly, which is why we must immediately unite to demand a justice who upholds the Roe v. Wade decision. 

The news of this week -- and much of what’s been happening in Washington under the Trump administration -- prompts disappointment and concern about the state of our country. But as we prepare to celebrate Independence Day next week, we must reaffirm our commitment to America and the work we must do to protect the values laid forth by our founding fathers -- life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Nobody said this would be easy, but we have to keep fighting. The powerful activism we’ve witnessed in our community and countless others aimed at this goal gives me faith that our efforts won’t be in vain. 

As always, you can visit my website, where you can read my positions on issues and learn about the different ways my staff can assist you. While you’re there, be sure to visit the “Contact” page and send me an email about what matters most to you and your family. Finally, don't forget to share this email with your friends, family, and neighbors so that they too can be a part of this important dialogue.

Sincerely,

Diana DeGette
Member of Congress

 

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