July 23, 2015

Contact: Dan Weber

(202) 225-8699

Edwards Statement Opposing the Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act, Highlighting Its Negative Impact on Combating Domestic Violence

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (MD-4) issued the following statement in opposition to H.R. 3009,the Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act.  Rep. Edwards, joined by Reps. Gwen Moore (WI-4), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), and Debbie Dingell (MI-12), highlighted the legislation’s negative impact on combating domestic violence in a letter to their colleagues.  The bill passed the House by a vote of 241-179.

“This flawed legislation second guesses the decisions made by local police chiefs and sheriffs around the country on how to best police their communities and ensure public safety.

“As the founder and former executive director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, I am deeply concerned that this legislation will have a negative effect on the cooperation that is necessary between law enforcement and very isolated victims of domestic and sexual violence.

“Further, it would strip bipartisan provisions that passed in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that we just reauthorized.”

“Specifically, H.R. 3009 negatively amends section 241(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act by doing the following:

  • Undermining the spirit and protections of the VAWA and effectively pushing immigration survivors and their children (many of whom are likely U.S. Citizens) deeper and deeper into the shadows of danger;
  • Undermining the policies that local communities have determined are appropriate for their localities;
  • Allowing violent crimes to go uninvestigated; and
  • Leaving victims without redress due to reductions in funding.

“This bill would have damaging ramifications for families across the nation and in my home state of Maryland.

“I have here and ask unanimous consent to enter into the record a letter from the National Taskforce to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women, representing coalitions, organizations, shelters, services and programs in every single state in this country.”

“I want to just quote from this letter, it says ‘fear of deportation also strengthens the ability of abusers and traffickers to silence and trap their victims. Not only are the individual victims harmed, but fear of law enforcement leads many to abstain from reporting violent perpetrators or coming forward and as a result dangerous criminals are not identified and go unpunished.’

“We need to ensure the continued protections of domestic violence victims all across this country no matter who they are and no matter where they are and to know that law enforcement will be there to protect them and their children.”

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