WASHINGTON, DC Today, U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) rose in opposition to two extreme anti-immigrant bills being considered in the House, and assailed the Trump Administration’s immigration policy that separates parents from their children while the parents await trial.

During a speech on the House floor, Pascrell decried Trump’s depicting of the Mexican people “with a wide brush of pure prejudice.” Pascrell continued, “And to say that Democrats are for open borders; that is a lie. You know it. I know it. And I’m standing up to reject it.”

Pascrell opposes both H.R. 4760, the Securing America's Future Act, and H.R. 6136, the Ryan-Goodlatte Border Security and Immigration Reform Act, because they do not end the Trump Administration “zero tolerance” policy leading to family separation, the practice of caging children, or provide for reunification of the families that have been separated. Additionally, both bills fail to give DACA recipients future security in their legal status. These pieces of legislation dismantle legal family immigration by closing programs for married children and siblings of U.S. citizens, limit access to asylum, and enable Trump’s use of children as bargaining chips to pay for a wall we were all told Mexico would pay for.

Sign Up for E-News

In a statement yesterday, Pascrell noted he stood ready to keep families together, to protect Dreamers, and to pass comprehensive immigration reform. “Majorities in both chambers stand ready. It’s up to Trump and Republicans to deliver and stop governing by chaos, corruption, and complicity,” Pascrell said.

On Father’s Day, Rep. Pascrell and six other Democratic Members of Congress made a surprise visit to the ICE Detention Center in Elizabeth, New Jersey and demanded to see the parents of families separated by the Trump administration’s grotesque so-called “zero tolerance” immigration policies. After being denied entry by ICE for nearly two hours, with center officials blocking the windows and calling local police, the House delegation was eventually allowed inside the jail.