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Pallone Statement on Elizabeth Detention Facility Congressional Visit

August 21, 2019
Press Release

Elizabeth, NJ-- Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) issued the following statement this afternoon after visiting the Elizabeth Contract Detention Facility (CDF), the largest US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in New Jersey that holds approximately 300 immigrant detainees.

“It has been over a year since my last visit to the Elizabeth detention center and the ramifications of the President’s divisive rhetoric and antipathy toward asylum seekers remain on full display. Sadly, the conditions and stories from my last visit have not changed. I spoke with over 40 detainees who fled persecution and violence in their home countries, hoping only to find refuge for themselves and their families in the United States. Each person I spoke to had a powerful story to tell. I met a Christian woman from Kenya who faced religious persecution and violence. I spoke to a man from Venezuela and a man from a Central Asian country both facing state sponsored political persecution. I also heard from a Central American woman who was forced out of her country for setting up a program to help survivors of domestic violence.

It is frankly un-American to see the Trump Administration attempt to terminate the Flores agreement and push to indefinitely imprison families and asylum seekers once they cross the border into the United States. We must never forget that we are a nation of immigrants that is strengthened at home and around the world when we treat the most vulnerable and impoverished among us in a humanitarian and fair manner just as many of our families were when they first came to this country.”