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Congressman Emanuel Cleaver

Representing the 5th District of MISSOURI

Congressman Cleaver's Statement On Apprehension of Florencio Millan-Vazquez

Jul 25, 2019
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – United States Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) released the following statement regarding Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) apprehension of Florencio Millan-Vazquez in Kansas City:

"As a father and grandfather, seeing the footage of Florencio being dragged out of a car in front of his horrified children and partner is nothing short of heartbreaking and gut-wrenching. It should make every American question where we’re headed as a nation and what kind of people we want to be. This President has spent the entirety of his term demonizing immigrants and fearmongering his base into relinquishing the very values that have made our nation what it is today, and this incident is a direct result of that rhetoric.

There is no debate that the apprehended individual broke the law, but the law itself is more than broken, and the President’s policies are exacerbating the problem. These policies are causing communities to be terrorized, families to be terrified, and American children to be traumatized—trauma that will undoubtedly live with them forever. The Administration has purposely allocated resources in order to further clog the system and enacted enforcement policies to maximize the harm to families. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) backlogs are at unprecedented levels, affecting naturalization and citizenship applications, work and student visas and humanitarian-based visas. The time has come for both parties in Congress to come together and legislate comprehensive immigration reform that reflects our values of acceptance, compassion, and all people being created equal under God. Were it not for some uncompromising House Republicans, this would have been done years ago under the Obama administration when such legislation was passed overwhelmingly in the Senate, but never given the opportunity for a vote in the House. It makes one question whether Republicans truly want to fix our immigration woes, or simply use it as a political cudgel to further divide an already dangerously divided nation.

My heart goes out to the family in question, and I’m deeply troubled that this continues to happen in my district and communities across the country. My office has already reached out to the regional ICE office, and I will continue to monitor the situation. However, the solution to ensure this never happens to another family is true, bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform. As long as I’m here in Congress, I’ll be at the table ready to make that happen."

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Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri's Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee; Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy; member of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress; member of the Committee on Homeland Security; and a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. For more information, please contact Matthew Helfant at 202-225-4535 or Matthew.Helfant@mail.house.gov A high-resolution photo of Congressman Cleaver is available here.