Government

Immigration: Grassley to try again for family reunification answers

Senator says goal is to 'pin people down'

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley is pictured in Washington, D.C. in October 2017. (photo supplied by Grassley press office)
Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley is pictured in Washington, D.C. in October 2017. (photo supplied by Grassley press office)

Sen. Chuck Grassley will try again to get information on reuniting families separated when they illegally entered the country, given that a briefing by federal officials was interrupted by a Senate vote earlier this week.

Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, brought in officials from the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services to update the committee on the progress toward safely reuniting those families.

Grassley worked for three weeks to set up the hearing, only to have the briefing interrupted after 15 minutes by a Senate vote. He had time to ask just one question, he said Wednesday.

Grassley has cast more than 8,000 consecutive votes since 1993, a Senate record.

He’s now scheduling a July 31 open hearing to hear sworn testimony with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to “pin people down.”

“We’re just trying to get basic information,” he said, adding that the committee heard too many “I’ll have to get back to you” answers.”

Grassley hosted the briefing to give Judiciary Committee members “a meaningful opportunity to engage with administration officials and receive detailed, specific answers to their questions and concerns,” Grassley said in a letter Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, a Democratic committee member.

He said he’s committed to ensuring families remain together and wants bipartisan cooperation to prevent family separation while immigration laws are enforced.

l Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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