WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), a senior member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), released the following statement regarding President Joe Biden’s immigration bill, the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021.
“For the last four years, we had a President who demonized immigrants, stoked fears about individuals and families seeking safe haven in this country, and tried to use the issue of immigration to divide us. Those days are over. For centuries, immigrants have arrived on our shores because our country has been a beacon of hope around the world – a place where anyone who is willing to work for it can achieve the American dream. This bill highlights our commitment to continuing to lead by the power of our example, as well as ensuring humane treatment to those seeking refuge at our borders and a fair immigration process once individuals and families arrive in the United States. President Biden’s U.S. Citizenship Act restores morality to our immigration system and emphasizes our country’s commitment to helping those most in need. I’m proud to join my colleagues in supporting an immigration bill that lives up to our values as a nation built and made better by immigrants – one that protects our nation’s Dreamers, encourages family reunification, brings millions out of the shadows for an earned pathway to citizenship, and ensures we tackle the root causes of migration like poverty, violence, and lack of economic opportunity that force so many Central American migrants to seek refuge at our Southern border.
“I have traveled to Central America many times over the years, at times with then-Vice President Joe Biden. We have spent time with leaders from the Northern Triangle countries, and we have both seen firsthand the dire conditions in those countries that force so many families to leave everything they know behind and make the long and dangerous journey north in order seek a better life for their families. President Biden understands the impact underlying factors play in irregular migration patterns, and is committed to not only investing in programs that address these root causes, but also working with our regional partners to make sure they do their part as well. And, as someone who served in the United States Senate for 36 years, President Biden has made clear that he wants to work constructively with Congress to get this done. I look forward to working with President Biden and my colleagues in the House and the Senate to make much-needed progress on this front and fulfill the President’s promise to bring dignity and humanity back to our immigration system.”
In February 2019, Senator Carper led a congressional delegation to Central America to see firsthand the difficult and dangerous conditions in Central America that force migrants to flee and seek safe haven at our U.S. Southern border. On this trip to the Northern Triangles countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, Senator Carper was joined by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Representatives Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Don Beyer (D-Va.), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) and Lou Correa (D-Calif.). Over the last six years, Senator Carper has repeatedly traveled to Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, as well as Mexico and Colombia, to study the root causes of Central American migration.
In December 2015, Senator Carper, then Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released a comprehensive report that found that the ongoing migration surge from the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador reflects troubled conditions in those countries.