A vigorous debate over a resolution urging Congress to conduct an impeachment inquiry, a resolution demanding the closure of immigrant children camps, and a visit by a Republican Charlotte County commissioner highlighted the July Charlotte County Democratic Executive Committee (CCDEC) business meeting that was anything but business as usual.
The local Democrats’ meeting began with Republican Charlotte County Commissioner Joseph Tiseo. He described how he got involved in politics. He addressed a question about traffic and congestion issues. And he told of his efforts to provide affordable housing to low-income Charlotte County residents.
One resolution generated heated debate among the Democratic members at Monday’s CCDEC meeting. Members of the Charlotte-Sarasota Democratic Progressive Caucus urged our local Democratic Party members to support a proclamation to “urge Congress to immediately begin an impeachment inquiry into President Trump.”
Proponents of the resolution said, “Congress should do its job and hold the president accountable”. Also, an impeachment inquiry would allow for a more broad, more transparent process that will publicize material Republicans and President Trump are eager to keep hidden from the public eye. The proclamation urging Congress to proceed with the impeachment inquiry was ultimately passed by a majority.
Opponents were concerned that too much time and resources would be spent on the impeachment. “Democrats should concentrate on winning the 2020 election” was a common theme. Other concerns: the investigation wouldn’t produce any results we don’t already have, and the Senate will reject removing Trump from office and Democrats will look weak. Read the complete text, “Proclamation Urging Congress to Begin Impeachment Inquiry”.
Another resolution, authored by CCDEC Vice Chair Teresa Jenkins was supported unanimously by the membership. It urged Charlotte Democrats to send letters to U. S. Senators Mario Rubio and Rick Scott, Congressman Greg Steube, and Gov. Ron DeSantis “urging that they support the closing of the Homestead Temporary Shelter, reunite children with their loved ones or sponsors, and end collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security.” The resolution also asks Dems to “support the passage of the ‘Shut Down Child Prison Camps Act’”. The resolution passed unanimously without debate. See the full text, “Resolution to Close Homestead Emergency Influx Center and Return Children to their Loved Ones”.
After the votes, CCDEC Chairman Patrick Hurley Chairman remarked, “People often ask what Democrats stand for. Among many traditional patriotic values, this proclamation makes clear that the Charlotte County Democrats stand for the constitution, the rule of law, and the accountability of government to the people.”
Resolution to Begin impeachment Inquiry
The Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida and the Sarasota-Charlotte Democratic Progressive Caucus urge Congress to immediately begin an impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
As the president continues to obstruct justice by denying Congressional oversight, and in light of the multiple well-documented incidents that appear to be obstruction of justice laid out in the Mueller Report, to do anything less would set the terrible precedent of Congress abdicating their responsibilities under the Constitution.
The United States President is not a King who is above the law. That has always been a near-sacred belief of the American people. As Thomas Paine put it long ago, “in America the law is king,” not the President.
The Constitution gives the House of Representatives the “sole Power of Impeachment.” In addition to obstruction allegations, there is clear evidence that President Trump has abused the power of his office and violated the emoluments clause. Members of the House must do their duty, even if they believe that many Senators will not do theirs.
Congress cannot simply look the other way when faced with the vast evidence of criminality. We the American People need leaders who will protect our Constitution from all who seek to destroy or disregard its fundamental principles. And there is no greater principle than the accountability of the President to the people.
Impeachment should not be a partisan issue, so partisan considerations should not come into play when determining whether or not to begin the impeachment process. It’s is a question of duty. Congress must do its job, which includes oversight of the President, regardless of any speculation about what will happen in the next election.
Congress needs to act now. The people will act in 2020.
Resolution to Close Homestead Emergency Influx Center and Return Children to their Loved Ones
WHEREAS the U.S. government is holding over three thousand child migrants, most of whom have been separated from their families by U.S. immigration officials, in a detention center in Homestead, Florida. Most of these children and their families have fled violence and poverty in Central America and are seeking asylum in the United States; and
WHEREAS because Homestead is an “emergency influx center,” children are not protected by agreements that ensure licensing or that Florida child-care standards are met. Instead of being released to family members or other sponsors in the community to await hearings on their cases, these children spend weeks and months in inhumane detention; and
WHEREAS the U.S. government is intentionally disregarding the binding provision of the Flores Agreement which does not permit unaccompanied minors to be detained in unlicensed facilities merely because they are on Federal property; and
WHEREAS the Homestead facility is the only child shelter for immigrants that is run by a for-profit corporation operated by a Florida-based company with a contract with the Department of Health and Human Services worth $220 million; employs former Homeland Security director John Kelly; and costs taxpayers at least $500,000 a day to operate; and
WHEREAS more than three months have passed since a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to reunite all the families it had separated as part of its “zero tolerance” immigration policy; and
WHEREAS these actions by the Trump administration are contrary to the principles of a democratic society and have resulted in and will continue to inflict lifelong emotional damage upon the children, who reportedly have been placed into danger of health problems, brutality, molestation; and
WHEREAS the Charlotte County Democratic Party stands with immigrants, acknowledges their contributions to our country, supports their rights, and seeks to be an ally to this oppressed population, in order that they may hopefully reunite with their parents sooner.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Charlotte County Democratic Party send a letter to Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, Rep. Greg Steube, and Governor Ron De Santis urging that they intervene in the closing of the Homestead Temporary Shelter, reunite children with their loved ones or sponsors, and end collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security.
THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Charlotte County Democratic Party support the passage of the “Shut Down Child Prison Camps Act” that prohibits the Secretary of Health and Human Services from maintaining or operating any temporary emergency shelter, including the shelter in Homestead, Florida.
Submitted by Teresa Jenkins, Vice Chair, Charlotte County Democratic Executive Committee, Vielka Wambold, and members of the Charlotte County Democratic Party Hispanic Caucus of Florida
July 1, 2019
The Honorable Marco Rubio
284 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator Rubio,
The Charlotte County Democratic Party unanimously passed a resolution (copy attached) asking for your intervention in the closing of the for-profit Homestead Emergency Influx Center and reuniting the children that are detained there with their loved ones.
Because Homestead is a temporary influx center, it is not protected by agreements that ensure licensing or that Florida child-care standards are met. Further, it is has been reported that this facility is costing taxpayers a minimum of $500,000 per day to operate.
We ask that children detained there be reunited with their loved ones or sponsors; that collaboration end with the Department of Homeland Security that interferes with reunification; and that the Homestead facility be permanently closed.
We further ask that the U.S. Congress pass the “Shut Down Child Prison Camps Act” that would prohibit the Secretary of Homeland Security from maintaining or operating shelters like the one in Homestead, Florida.
Chair, Charlotte County Democratic Executive Committee