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Rep. Yvette D. Clarke Co-Author’s Letter to President Obama Opposing the HALT Act

Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY) joined Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA) in authoring a letter to President Barack Obama denouncing the HALT (Hinder the Administration’s Legalization Temptation) Act.  Signed by 75 Members of Congress, the letter expressed strong support for President Barack Obama since the legislation seeks to limit presidential authority over immigration enforcement powers. Click here to access the letter to President Barack Obama.  Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement:

“Good Morning everyone.  I would first like to thank and acknowledge Congressman Gutierrez for continuing to fight for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.  He has held the Obama Administration accountable as well as having the biggest support of this Administration when it comes to addressing Immigration reform.

“Last week we stood before members of the press to express our disapproval of the HALT act and House Republicans attempt to terminate and undermine President Obama’s power to target deportation and immigration enforcement. 

“One thing that I have noticed about this Republican lead Majority is that they like to play games.

“They are playing political games with our debt ceiling negotiations, with access to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.  Now they want to play games with the President’s re-enforcement mechanism for immigration.

“Well, I stand here today with a very clear message to my colleagues across the aisle… this is NOT a game.  That is why I joined Congressman Luis Gutierrez and Congressman Mike Honda in drafting this letter of support.  This letter is a clear signal to the Republican Party that we stand with the President on this issue and that their divide and concure tactic will not work with us. 

“As the Representative of New York’s 11th Congressional District, home to thousands of immigrants from all over the world, both here legally and not, this bill is a slap in the face to the many people who come to our shores to make a better life for themselves.

“Our broken immigration system is a real problem, affecting real people, who like most of our ancestors, came here with the pursuit of the American Dream.

“It is not a game… when you hear the cases of young adults who are either facing the threat of deportation; to a country they have never known or are forced into an “immigration purgatory” whereby the opportunities to obtain higher education or gainful employment are curtailed by their immigrant status.

“It is not a game when we have service members who have risked their lives to serve our country and fight for our country overseas, while their families are being detained/deported back home.

“It is not a game when we have citizen children whose parents are ripped from their lives, awaiting a 10-year ban for their parents to return, while many have been orphaned by the senseless deportation of their parents. 

“So again, it is an honor to stand here with my colleagues in denouncing the HALT legislation.  I implore my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to stop playing games and develop real solutions to our broken immigration system.

“Let’s put party politics and the pursuit of the White House aside.  Let us work to address the issues that negatively affect us all.  Let’s discuss comprehensive immigration reform now!”