Tag Archives: Congress

Councilmember Navarro will Join Congressional Briefing on Unaccompanied Children

WASHINGTON—Councilmember Navarro will join educators, community partners and legal aid providers at a congressional briefing today to urge members of Congress to act immediately to address the myriad of issues impacting unaccompanied children seeking refuge in the United States and to call for an immediate end to “rocket dockets” and deportations targeting unaccompanied children and other vulnerable individuals.

Speakers will urge members of Congress to act now to address this international humanitarian and refugee crisis in a way that puts the safety and well-being of children first, while seeking resolution to the root causes of the forced migration. Councilmember Navarro said that “the influx of children who have fled the violence in parts of Central America is creating a humanitarian crisis in local jurisdictions throughout the nation. Many children require medical attention, are victims of sexual abuse, and have experienced severe trauma. It is important for local governments to understand the scope of this issue in order to be prepared and respond to the needs of this vulnerable population of children.”

The briefing will focus on the impact the crisis is having in our communities and our public schools; the challenges experienced by unaccompanied children in the legal system; local government responses to recent U.S. Department of Homeland Security enforcement raids targeting immigrants from Central America; and the root causes of the migration from countries overrun by organized crime, violence, human trafficking, gangs, poverty and persecution.

In addition, Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) will provide an update on the Fair Day in Court for Kids Act—a bill introduced by Lofgren and Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) and Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) late last month that would ensure access to counsel, legal orientation programs and post-release services to children and other groups in immigration proceedings.

WHAT:    Congressional briefing on immigration raids targeting unaccompanied children

WHEN:     10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Wednesday, March 23

WHERE:   Cannon House Office Building, Room 234, Washington, D.C.


  • Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), chair, Congressional Hispanic Caucus
  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.)
  • Bruce Lesley, president, First Focus
  • Louis Malfaro, president, Texas AFT
  • Marielena Hincapie, executive director, National Immigration Law Center
  • Wendy Young, president, Kids in Need of Defense
  • Kelsey Rivas, classmate of student impacted by DHS enforcement actions
  • Hon. Nancy Navarro, councilwoman, Montgomery County, Md.
  • Hon. Dana Leigh Marks, president, National Association of Immigration Judges, IFPTE

(Other members of Congress also have been invited)

Protecting the Right to Vote

The right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy, yet this fundamental right is not explicitly protected in the U.S. Constitution. While Governor O’Malley and the Maryland General Assembly have taken important steps to expand voting opportunities, several other states and the Supreme Court have made devastating decisions to move in the opposite direction. That is why I am introducing a resolution that will affirm the Council’s commitment to expanding participation in elections and protecting voting rights for all of our residents. I am pleased that all 8 of my colleagues have signed on to this resolution as co-sponsors.

votingrightsGroupFormalonSteps 9-23-13

At the county level, we have limited authority in making election law. While Montgomery County funds the local Board of Elections, election rules are ultimately determined at the state level. However, county government can be a catalyst for offering innovative proposals our state and federal officials can adopt. As chair of the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee, which has oversight over the Board of Elections budget, I believe it is essential that Montgomery County have a strong voice in discussions about increasing voting rights and reforming our elections.

This resolution calls on Congress to restore Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was declared unconstitutional earlier this year by the Supreme Court. With states like North Carolina and Texas rolling back voting rights and instituting draconian photo ID laws, the need for robust federal enforcement of election law is needed more than ever.

The resolution also calls on Congress to give residents of Washington, DC full representation and voting rights in the House of Representatives and the United States Senate. The lack of voting rights for residents living in our nation’s capital is a disgrace. The United States is the only democracy in the world where residents of its capital are not represented in their national legislature. Beyond this issue of basic fairness, DC’s lack of representation also hurts surrounding jurisdictions, like Montgomery County. Without a voting member of the House and two Senators, the DC area has less of a voice on key regional issues, like transportation, than we deserve.


At the local level, the resolution urges the Montgomery County Board of Elections to select new early voting sites that are “easily accessible by public transportation.” Montgomery County will have several new early voting sites in 2014 and we need to make sure that all eligible voters, regardless of income or access to a vehicle, have an opportunity to cast a ballot.

Finally,  this resolution creates a task force that will review and offer recommendations to improve our election

processes in Montgomery County. I hope this citizen-centric approach will provide us with creative ideas to increase
You can read the resolution in its entirety here. Learn more about FairVote’s Promote Our Vote project here and DC Voting Rights here.civic education and participation in our democratic process.