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Sewell Votes against Republican Immigration Bills

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Friday, August 1, Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell, (D) from Selma, voted against H.R. 5230, the Republican appropriations bill to address the crisis on our country’s Southwest border and H.R. 5232, which eliminates the troubled Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) problem.

Congresswoman Sewell released a written following her vote.  Rep. Sewell said, “Tonight, I voted against H.R. 5230 and Republican attempts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and undermine protections afforded to immigrant children fleeing persecution and violence.  These attempts fail to adequately address the emergency border crisis that our nation is facing and undermine protections afforded to immigrant children. Unfortunately, House Republicans have squandered this opportunity and put forth a bill that is woefully underfunded, rolls back critical protections that Congress previously extended and does not provide a real solution to fixing our broken immigration system. The humanitarian crisis at the border underscores the urgent need for comprehensive immigration reform.”

Rep. Sewell said, “In lieu of compromise legislation, this bill is a piecemeal attempt that does not sensibly and adequately address this crisis. This bill ignores Congress’ intent and subjects these vulnerable children to return to life threatening situations including trafficking, persecution, violence, and abuse.  Further, it subjects all children to the dangerous and cursory screenings that currently apply only to unaccompanied children from contiguous countries and denies the fundamental right to a due process hearing.  We must prioritize the protection of these children and ensure that our laws are followed by providing each child with a deportation hearing. We have a moral responsibility to protect and treat unaccompanied children with care and compassion as they await due process.”

Rep. Sewell concluded, “I renew my call for a comprehensive bipartisan immigration bill that adequately funds and addresses this humanitarian challenge.”

The Republican members of Alabama’s Congressional delegation championed the cause of transforming the Republican leadership’s bill into one that would end the controversial DACA program, while passing a companion bill that would outlaw any future immigration law amnesties by Presidential Executive order.  While both bills passed the House, a Democratic bill to deal with chaos on the Nation’s southern border failed in the Senate in the face of bipartisan opposition, led by Alabama’s Senator Jeff Sessions (R) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R) from Texas.  Republicans blame President Barack H. Obama and his 2012 DACA program for encouraging tens of thousands of new illegal aliens to come to this country illegally, believing that they will never be deported.

Comprehensive immigration reform faces and uncertain future in this Congress.  Numerous sources claim that President Obama is considering giving millions of illegal aliens legal status in this country and granting them work visas in defiance of existing immigration laws before the end of the Summer.

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Congresswoman Terri Sewell represents Alabama’s Seventh Congressional District.  She is seeking a third term in the United States Congress.  She easily defeated her opponent in the Democratic Primary and faces no Republican opponent in the November 4 General Election.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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