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July 10, 2024

Reps. Trone, Cleaver, Espaillat, Sen. Booker Introduce Bicameral Resolution Urging Due Process for Unjustly Deported Individuals and Calling for Mechanism to Reunite Families


July 10, 2024

Reps. Trone, Cleaver, Espaillat, Sen. Booker Introduce Bicameral Resolution Urging Due Process for Unjustly Deported Individuals and Calling for Mechanism to Reunite Families

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Representatives David Trone (D-MD), Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO), and Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), along with Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), introduced a bicameral resolution that urges the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish a centralized and independent process for reviewing petitions from individuals who were unjustly or wrongfully deported from the United States. With current policies unworkable and impractical, the lawmakers’ Chance to Come Home Resolution calls on DHS to use their broad legal authority to create a streamlined mechanism to consider emergency requests from individuals who were wrongfully removed from the country and reunite them with their families.

“This resolution begins to tackle one of our nation’s biggest challenges: our failing immigration system. By granting individuals, who were unjustly deported, the opportunity to come back to this country we are beginning to repair that broken system,” said Rep. Trone. “These individuals have planted roots in their communities, contributed to our nation’s economy, and have called this country their home for many years. They must be reunited with their loved ones as quickly as possible and we must make every effort to correct this wrong. This resolution is just common sense and I am proud to be introducing it alongside my colleagues.”

“As it currently stands, due to the lack of a centralized review unit at DHS, there is no meaningful process for unjustly deported individuals to be reunited with their families and the communities they know and love. These are folks who resided in the country for decades, started their small businesses, and contributed to their local economies—and they deserve due process and a fair chance to come home,” said Rep. Cleaver. “I am committed to strengthening America’s immigration system in a fair and humane way, which is why I’m proud to introduce this bicameral resolution that would reunite hardworking families while boosting our local economies and upholding our values as Americans.” 

“We find ourselves, as a nation, at a turning point in immigration reform and how we move forward will have lasting impacts for generations to come,” said Rep. Espaillat. “The separation of immigrant families has a disparate impact on Black and Brown immigrants, with higher rates of deportation that separate families from their loved ones. Our Chance to Come Home Resolution aims to streamline the readmittance process by providing a level of support and assistance as they navigate the process to reunite with their loved ones here in the United States.”

“Families torn apart by unjust deportations deserve a chance to reunite and rebuild their lives,” said Sen. Booker. “The Chance to Come Home Resolution is a crucial step toward rectifying past wrongs. Without a centralized process for reviewing wrongful deportation cases, the current system will continue to cause harm to families. We must correct the injustices faced by people who have been wrongfully removed from the country they call home, and we will continue to build a more just and humane immigration system that prioritizes keeping families together.”

“As threats of mass deportations make national headlines, this Chance to Come Home congressional resolution reminds us that deportation of people with years of life in the U.S. imposes irreparable damage to children, separates families and loved ones, and undermines the prosperity of U.S. communities,” said Nayna Gupta, Director of Policy at the National Immigrant Justice Center. “The Biden administration could take immediate action to establish a central process using existing laws to help unjustly deported people present a case to reunite with their loved ones. This would be a small, but powerful step toward bringing basic fairness to the immigration system and repairing the damage deportation has already inflicted on far too many U.S. families across the country.”

In the last ten years, the U.S. deported over two million people. Most resided in the United States for years, raising families, building businesses, contributing to their communities, and growing local economies. Research has shown that wrongful deportation disproportionately affects Black and Brown communities, sending individuals to dangerous conditions without any familial connection and tearing their American families and communities apart.

While critical procedures within U.S. immigration law allow those wrongfully deported to return to the U.S., they are largely inaccessible. Much of this ineffectiveness can be attributed to the decentralized immigration review process, which causes lengthy wait times, complicated application procedures, and limited access to counsel, resulting in rare instances of readmittance. Although the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has already established a successful removal review unit, ImmVets, the office only offers assistance to current and former military personnel. The Chance to Come Home Resolution calls on DHS to centralize this unit and expand its services to all individuals who have been unjustly deported.

Organizations endorsing the Chance to Come Home Resolution include the Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, American Families United, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, National Immigration Law Center, and 58 other organizations.

The Chance to Come Home Resolution is cosponsored by Reps. Nanette Barragán (D-CA), Valerie Foushee (D-NC), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Delia Ramirez (D-IL), Juan Vargas (D-CA), Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Nikema Williams (D-GA), and Frederica Wilson (D-FL).

The full text of the resolution can be found here.

Congressman David Trone was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018 to serve the 6th District of Maryland, which includes all or part of Montgomery, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties. Trone serves on the Appropriations, Budget, and Joint Economic Committees in the 118th Congress. In Congress, Trone is fighting to make progress on issues that matter to Marylanders, including the mental health and addiction crises, criminal justice reform, and funding for medical research.

Follow Congressman Trone at @RepDavidTrone for updates on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.