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US House passes legislation to protect immigrants

Sunday, July 14, 2019

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WASHINGTON, United States (CMC) — The House of Representatives has passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that includes an amendment by Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette D Clarke which regulates the US Department of Defense's (DOD) involvement with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, said that along with Representatives Bennie Thompson, of Missouri, and Kathleen Rice, of New York, offered the amendment as “a clap back to the crisis at our border”.

The amendment prohibits the use of DOD equipment, personnel and facilities to house or construct housing for any foreign nationals who are in custody of ICE.

“There is an emergency at our southern border on the account of our bigoted president who has directed Border Patrol agents to house migrants in dangerous and unsafe conditions,” said Clarke, who represents the predominantly Caribbean 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York.

“We must not allow the Department of Defense to play a role in the dehumanisation of our migrant community,” she added, stating “that is why I included my amendment in the NDAA.”

The NDAA also prevents, among other things, the use of money for a border wall; prohibits federal funds from being used for any military action against Iran without Congressional authorisation; prohibits new transfers into the Guantánamo Bay detention facility in Cuba; and restricts US assistance of Saudi campaign in Yemen.

“New York's 9th Congressional District is bustling with people from around our globe. I will never stop fighting for immigrants to ensure they are treated humanely and are respected as human beings,” Clarke said.

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