Today, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16), member of the House Judiciary Committee, led 11 of her colleagues in sending a letter to President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. urging the immediate review of the unjust deportations across the United States, including that of Rosa – a survivor and witness of the domestic terrorist attack against El Paso on August 3, 2019 – and calling for the enactment of policies that protect victims and witnesses of crime from deportation.
“Because of the legal challenge against your deportation moratorium, [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] continues to act with the same impunity it has engaged in over the last four years under the Trump Administration,” the lawmakers wrote. “A terrible and tragic example occurred on January 29, 2021 when ICE deported Rosa to Mexico after she was stopped by the El Paso Police Department due to a faulty brake light and later arrested for outstanding traffic warrants from 2015.”
They continued, “[Rosa] has lived in the United States for over ten years and is currently petitioning for U Nonimmigration Status (U Visa) due to her surviving and witnessing the domestic terror attack on August 3, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. That horrific shooting, which was the deadliest targeted attack against Latinos in modern American history, took the lives of 23 people, injured 22, and traumatized innumerable individuals like [Rosa]. [Rosa’s] deportation has re-traumatized her and has shed a light into the horrific practice of deporting immigrant victims and witnesses of crime. We ask that you immediately review unjust deportations like [Rosa’s] and believe you should enact policies that protect victims and witnesses of crime from deportation.”
The lawmakers concluded the letter by sharing with President Biden their belief that an agency-wide review of ICE “would make our country safer and restore American values,” and expressing their desire to work with him to end unjust deportations and ensure that vulnerable immigrant communities are protected.
Joining Congresswoman Escobar are Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36), and Congressional Hispanic Caucus Members Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07), Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Juan Vargas (CA-51), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), J. Luis Correa (CA-46), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), and Sylvia R. Garcia (TX-29).