12.02.14

Senate Judiciary Committee To Hold Hearing On Families & Immigration Next Week

Hearing Marks Continuation Of Committee’s Focus On Family Unity

WASHINGTON (Tuesday, December 2, 2014) – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced on Tuesday that the Committee will hold a hearing next week about the impact of the President’s executive action on immigrant families and the need to keep children and their parents together.  

The hearing follows up on the Committee’s hearing last year entitled “How Comprehensive Immigration Reform Should Address the Needs of Women and Families.” Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), an immigrant who came to the United States from Japan as a child, presided over last year’s hearing and will again lead the discussion about family unity at next week’s hearing, Leahy announced.

“Far too many hard-working immigrant families today live in fear.  Fear of being torn apart -- of losing a mother, a father, a sister, a brother to deportation.  Bringing stability and peace to those children and families was one of the things that most motivated me last year as we spent hours debating and marking up comprehensive immigration reform,” said Leahy, who also delivered a floor statement Tuesday to announce the hearing.  “Senator Hirono has worked tirelessly to reform our broken system, and I am glad that she can lead our discussion about the President’s recent announcement.  Her unique personal experience gives her important insight into the impact these changes will have for real families.”

Leahy spoke last month on the Senate floor about the President’s executive action to provide temporary relief for some immigrant families. As chairman of the Judiciary Committee, he also steered the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act through the Senate last year. The Committee held six hearings and debated the legislation for more than three weeks, considering over 200 amendments and reporting the legislation to the Senate on a bipartisan vote. The bill was approved by the full Senate on June 27 of last year, earning the support of 68 Democratic and Republican Senators.

Next week’s hearing will be held on Wednesday, December 10, at 2 p.m. in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Astrid Silva, a young woman whose story the President highlighted during his announcement, will be among the witnesses testifying on the impact of the executive action for her family. Additional details will be announced in the coming days. Member statements, witness testimony, and a live webcast will be available online on December 10. 

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