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Reps. Espaillat, Bonamici, Serrano, Beyer Introduce The Protecting Sensitive Locations Act

Today Reps. Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), José E. Serrano (NY-15), and Don Beyer (VA-08) introduced new legislation aimed at protecting sensitive locations during immigration enforcement efforts. 

The Protecting Sensitive Locations Act will prohibit immigration enforcement, including arrests, interviews, searches, and surveillance at "sensitive locations" that include areas such as medical or health care facilities, public and private schools, places of worship, courthouses, DMV offices, and locations that provide emergency services.

“The aggressive implementation of President Trump’s xenophobic and anti-immigrant policies by ICE creates fear and anxiety in our communities,” said Rep. Beyer. “Children attending school, patients in need of medical care, and families going to church should not stay away in fear that those locations could be the target of ICE raids. I am proud to introduce today’s bill that would restrict ICE activity at these sensitive locations.”

“Our intent with the Protecting Sensitive Locations Act is to prohibit law enforcement from making arrests and detentions at highly sensitive locations, such as places of worship, schools, hospitals and public locations,” said Rep. Espaillat.  “Individuals should not be subject to arrest while mourning loved ones at funerals or while dropping off their child for school.  The Protecting Sensitive Locations Act holds law enforcement accountable and ensures that they adhere to the letter of the law.”

“Our immigrant communities deserve to be safe and to feel secure when accessing justice, seeking education and health care, or practicing their faith,” said Rep. Bonamici. “Recent ICE action has been aggressive and mean-spirited, and it does not improve the safety of our communities. The Protecting Sensitive Locations Act will keep ICE out of sensitive locations and make sure immigrant families can take their kids to school, go to worship, or seek protective orders and police assistance. This legislation is desperately needed.”

“In recent weeks, my office has received deeply troubling reports of ICE agents at sensitive and important locations in my district.  ICE activities at these vital, essential locations create a disincentive for immigrants, even those who are documented, from doing things like accessing basic benefits, reporting crimes, and ensuring their health and well- being.  The Protecting Sensitive Locations Act will clearly define and expand the list of sites that currently qualify as sensitive locations, thus ensuring that they are off-limits to ICE other than in very limited circumstances – in my district and throughout the nation.  It will also require a report on any type of immigration enforcement activities that take place at sensitive locations under these exceptions. President Trump has tried to intimidate communities by targeting and deporting immigrants in an indiscriminate manner but this bill will help codify common-sense limits on ICE enforcement activities and protect vulnerable immigrants’ basic rights,” said Rep. Serrano.

Watch video from today’s press conference here.