Pursuing common sense immigration reform
Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Congressman Denny Heck believes our immigration laws should reflect our values. We’re a nation of immigrants and we should welcome immigration. It’s good for the economy and it is how our nation has grown for generations.
But Congress needs to take steps to fix our broken immigration system. Since entering Congress, Denny Heck has supported bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform proposals that included securing the border and modernizing the pathway to legal immigration for millions of people living in the United States.
Congressman Heck believes neither Congress nor the President can deal with this issue on a piecemeal basis, one issue at a time. This is too complex of an issue to not confront on a comprehensive basis.
Saying "No" to the Muslim Ban
Congressman Denny Heck opposes immigration policies that are discriminatory, ill-conceived, and have a negative impact on our national security and economy. Congressman Heck believes strongly that President Trump's executive order barring thousands of travelers and refugees from the United States is not who we are.
Congressman Heck has added his support to three bills to prevent this harmful action from being administered any further. If passed, the Statue of Liberty Values Act (SOLVe Act) would overturn the executive order and blocks any federal spending to enforce it. The Freedom of Religion Act states that the United States could not bar foreigners from coming to the United States on the basis of their religious beliefs. The No Religious Registration Act would stop the government from creating or using a database of religious affiliation for the purpose of surveillance or of classifying U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, or visa seekers. These bills reflect long-standing American values laid down in the First Amendment.
Congressman Heck also knows our men and women in uniform rely on many Muslim allies in the ongoing fight against terror around the world. To turn our backs on programs and policies that encourage collaboration with our Muslim friends and partners, and to discriminate based on their religion and place of birth, would render us less safe.
Opposing the Separation of Families Seeking Asylum
On April 6, 2018, Attorney General Sessions and DHS Secretary Nielsen announced a “zero tolerance” policy to impose criminal penalties and detain all individuals illegally crossing the border, including asylum seekers looking for protection in the United States. Because minors cannot be held in adult jails, immigration enforcement officers are separating families when the adults are taken into custody.
Rep. Heck believes that this new policy is wrong. Rep. Heck sent a letter to the House Appropriations Full Committee and Subcommittee on Homeland Security asking them to limit funding to all Department of Homeland Security activities related to separating children from their parents at the border. He has also cosponsored H.Res.927, which strongly condemns the Trump Administration's choice to instate this policy and the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act, which provides much-needed reforms to the current immigration detaining system.
Along with nearly 100 co-sponsors, Rep. Heck co-signed the Keep Families Together Act, which prohibits family separations. It also increases training on child-welfare, limits prosecution of asylum seekers and establishes the preference for family reunification.
On June 8, 2018, Rep. Heck joined Governor Inslee, Attorney General Ferguson, and Members of the Washington State Congressional Delegation to speak out against this policy at the SeaTac Federal Detention Center.