WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) held an Ad-Hoc Hearing to receive first hand testimony from unaccompanied minors currently in the United States and expert witnesses who stressed the importance of prioritizing the best interests of these children. The hearing can be seen here. The Congressional Progressive Caucus previously sent a proposal to President Obama urging him to follow a kids first policy on the southern border.

“Today, we heard first-hand the great lengths to which the 57,000 unaccompanied minors who have sought refuge in our country have gone to reach safety.  Their stories are a testimonial to the importance of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA). These children have come to the United States to flee the violence and danger of their home countries, and it is imperative that we put the safety of these kids first and allow their right to due process to be protected.”

Today’s event coincided with a “Have a Heart” campaign in the hearing room and on social media. Members wore heart shaped pins and emphasized the need to address the human impact of the border crisis.

“Lawmakers need to ‘Have a Heart’ when it comes to this issue – we need to understand the desperate causes bringing these kids to our doorstep before we jump to conclusions about how to address them. We thank Dulce, Mayeli and Saul for bravely bringing us closer to that goal today.”