WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the below statement following today’s Senate Judiciary Committee markup where Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) agreed to hold a hearing “about the conditions” at the Southern Border after being pressed by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). Two weeks ago, Booker sent a letter to Graham formally requesting such a hearing.
“It’s encouraging that Chairman Graham has agreed to hold a hearing on the abuses, overcrowding, and unsanitary conditions plaguing detention facilities across the country. The Trump Administration has exasperated the immigration crisis by using fearmongering tactics that dehumanize and criminalize migrants. This administration’s immigration policy of cruelty has created humanitarian chaos on our southern border, separated families, physically harmed kids, and forced immigrants into solitary confinement.
“It’s important that this hearing seriously tackles the multitude of issues stemming from President Trump’s xenophobic immigration agenda by including a wide range of expert testimony, including witnesses with medical, legal, and international human rights expertise. This hearing should not be limited to political appointees.”
Booker has been a strong and vocal leader for improving our nation’s detention conditions. In April, he reintroduced his Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act, which would limit the use of immigrant detention; set safe, secure, and sanitary standards for detention facilities (in accordance with the American Bar Association’s detention standards); and improve congressional oversight of such facilities to eliminate abuse. He is also the author of legislation that would end the controversial 287g program, which allows Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to contract with local law enforcement for the purposes of enforcing federal immigration law.