Rep. Adriano Espaillat Statement Following Meeting with DHS Secretary Kelly

July 13, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) released the following statement regarding yesterday’s Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) meeting with DHS Secretary John Kelly. 

“Following yesterday’s meeting with DHS Secretary John Kelly, I have grave concerns about his complacency on DACA,” said Rep. Espaillat.  “Secretary Kelly stated his personal support but could not commit on behalf of the Administration. He expressed having spoken to attorneys who have advised him that DACA will not pass in the courts. If DACA is not renewed, it will have a chilling and ultimately devastating effect causing these young people to scatter for cover. It is critical that we focus our work on developing a stronger legal network of services that will exclusively deal with DACA students, that we can offer these students in light of the Administration’s refusal to renew the policy. Otherwise, if DACA fails and there is no plan in place, deportations of these students will begin. We need to act swiftly to develop a contingency plan for when this happens.

“Secretary Kelly also did not have a plan for extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Central Americans, including individuals from El Salvador and Honduras, which will set forth a frenzy if and when the TPS is not renewed for these countries. Secretary Kelly's response was that many from Central America have been in the U.S. for several years and that TPS is something that needs to be reviewed.

“The only good news from yesterday’s meeting was that Secretary Kelly agreed to move forward with the use of body cameras for ICE and CBP officers and agents, which is a piece of legislation that I introduced. Overall, the meeting was grim but encourages us to work even harder for comprehensive immigration reform, which is more critical now than ever before for immigrant families living here in the United States.”

Rep. Espaillat plans to follow up with a letter to Secretary Kelly in the coming weeks regarding the exact timeline for the implementation of body cameras for agents and officers throughout DHS, as well as to work with his Congressional Hispanic Caucus colleagues on developing legislation.

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