WASHINGTON – Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement in response to the publication of a Human Rights Watch (HRW) investigation that identifies over 200 cases in which people were murdered or subjected to sexual violence, torture, and other harm after being deported to El Salvador from the United States.
“This report is a shameful reminder of the Trump Administration's xenophobic policy of denying meaningful protection to vulnerable families fleeing a certain death in their home countries. President Trump’s ‘deportation first’ policies are not only grotesquely un-American, they are illegal and violate U.S. laws that prohibit our government from returning people to countries where they face torture and persecution.
“Despite the hateful rhetoric the President used last night towards our nation’s immigrants, the evidence continues to pile up showing that the U.S. government is knowingly signing a death sentence by forcibly returning vulnerable people to the very place they fled. It’s our responsibility to demand accountability, restore our asylum and refugee systems, and uphold our nation’s core values.”