7/11/2019 — 

WASHINGTON, DC - Following reports that the Trump Administration is ending protections against the deportation of military families whose loved ones are deployed, U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Jack Reed (D-RI) are leading the charge to block the change.  Reed, Duckworth, and Hirono led a total of 22 Senators in demanding the Trump Administration reverse course immediately.  The Trump Administration is reportedly planning on ending the “Parole in Place” (PIP) program, which prevents immigrants who are spouses, parents, and children of active-duty servicemembers and veterans from being deported.  The Senators emphasized how deporting military spouses and family members is a significant threat to military readiness and our national security, especially at a time when servicemembers are being asked to sacrifice for our country. 

“Through this program, servicemembers are able to fight for the United States overseas and not worry that their spouse, children, or parents will be deported while they are away,” the Senators wrote in a letter to Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan and Acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper.“Terminating PIP would not only cause personal hardship to our servicemen and women, but negatively impact them in combat. Withdrawing protections from military families is a direct threat to our military readiness and our national security.”

“At a time when our Armed Forces are fighting dangerous wars overseas, we must enact policies that support our men and women in combat, rather than repeal policies that cause unnecessary harm,” the Senators continued. “Ending the program flies in the face of American values and signals that we do not value the contributions of military families. The Trump administration should provide favorable immigration solutions for military families, not break them up.”

“The Trump Administration should not remove key protections for military families and start deporting family members of our deployed soldiers.  While our service members are deployed overseas, President Trump should not be targeting their loved ones at home.  Congress should step up and protect our troops and their families,” said Senator Reed, the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee.  

In addition to Duckworth and Reed, the letter was also signed by Senators: Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Chris Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

A PDF of the letter may be found here.