Washington Review: June 22, 2020
Last week I continued to work with my colleagues on legislation addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, helped provide COVID-19 tests in the 8th District, and spoke at a virtual House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure Markup.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled a 5-4 decision preventing the Administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The decision is a victory for DACA recipients across the country who have long called America their home, and will continue to set the standard for a humane immigration policy in our nation. With this ruling, DACA recipients who have long called America home will be able to continue enriching our communities and adding to the social fabric of our country. As an original cosponsor of H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, introduced by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), I voted for its passage last June. It is far past time for the Senate to take up this legislation and protect these hardworking Americans.
On Wednesday, I joined Mayor Rodriguez of West New York, and Hudson County Health Department officials to provide over 350 COVID-19 tests to residents in the community. As New Jersey continues reopening, the safety and health of everyone is a primary concern.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure convened for a markup of H.R. 2, the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) in America Act, introduced by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR). I spoke in support of this critical legislation and the many benefits it will bring to New Jersey and the entire country. Included in this bill is over $10 billion for crucial infrastructure projects, such as the Gateway Program, new rail infrastructure, climate resilient projects in our communities, and rehabilitation funding for our nation’s bridges.
This week, I once again became an original cosponsor of a House Resolution to designate June as LGBTQ Pride Month. H.Res.464, introduced by Rep. Al Green (D-TX), expresses that LGBTQ rights are protected in the Constitution and the achievements of the LGBTQ community should be celebrated throughout the month. The Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday that no American can be fired on grounds of gender identity or orientation signals how far we have come, but how far we have to go. The Trump Administration continues to try and chip away at anti-discrimination laws that provide equal protections to the LGBTQ community and nationwide there are significant gaps in LGBTQ protections at the local level. It is more important now, than ever, that our nation reaffirms a commitment to equality and justice for all.
On Tuesday, I joined a letter from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to Director McHenry of the Executive Office for Immigration Review regarding the release of incomplete data on immigration court proceedings. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse has found incomplete data and the disappearance of over 60,000 records relating to asylum applications. Our letter calls for a detailed explanation on the disappearance of these records. Asylum seekers deserve to be treated humanely and have every right to a fair immigration process.
Please know that I will continue working to get the 8th District the resources it needs. If you have questions or need assistance please call my Washington, D.C. office at (202)-225-7919 and follow instructions to be connected to my staff or send an email to NJ8inquiries@mail.house.gov. Together we can get through this.