The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Tuesday where family members of victims murdered by illegal aliens were allowed to testify on what is finally becoming a hot topic in Washington. With legislation pending to impose penalties on so called “sanctuary cities” which defy federal immigration law, you’d think that such personal testimony would be a compelling component. But as our friend Kerry Picket reports at The Daily Caller, at least some of the family members felt that several committee members didn’t even pay attention to them, to say nothing of taking their concerns seriously.
Did any lawmakers fall asleep during testimony given by families who lost relatives murdered by illegal aliens? That is what Sabine Durden told The Daily Caller Tuesday after she testified at a Senate Judiciary hearing about her slain son Dominic.
“The hardest part for me was to watch some of the Congress members falling asleep and some of them were doing whatever they did on their phones,” she said. “There were a few that paid attention, because people were pouring their hearts out, and our lives have been shattered. They sit there and participate in it and don’t even have enough decency to just sit there and look at us.”
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley told TheDC he could not speak to Durden’s claim, because he was primarily focused on the families and not the other members. However, Grassley did say that members do react to e-mails and texts from staff indicating when action on an amendment, for example, of theirs is happening on the floor.
Jim Steinle, father of the recently murdered Kate Steinle, told the committee that it was “unbelievable” to see so many Americans being killed by illegal alien felons. Even if you haven’t been personally affected by such a tragedy, Jim’s story has to resonate with you. But not, it would seem, with some of the members.
During Sabine Durden’s testimony, Donald Trump earned some praise in front of the upper chamber.
“Mr. Donald Trump, no matter how people respond to him–whether they like him or dislike him, for me personally, and I’m not a politician, I love the man for what he did for us. He put it up front,” she said.
We’ve gotten used to the idea of C-SPAN showing us members of Congress standing up and giving speeches to a largely empty chamber while the rest of their colleagues are off doing other things. It’s rather depressing, but at least we manage to record it all and have it available for later use. Some members get so busy that their staff puts them into the wrong committee meeting, as happened to Dan Coats last year. This is apparently the reality of Congress most of the time as opposed to big ticket events like the State of the Union where everyone shows up and applauds wildly.
But if you accept a committee assignment, particularly one where you’re going to be dealing with such sensitive, heart wrenching material which ruins the lives of some of your citizens, would it be too much to ask that you show up and actually pay attention? I’m not sure if the will exists in Congress to do anything about the sanctuary cities, nor if the President will go along with it if they do. But even if Congress performs to their usual standard and does nothing, couldn’t they at least pretend to care?
This is simply depressing.