Foreign Policy and Human Rights

Foreign Affairs and National Defense

The American people have called for an end to our open-ended commitment in the Middle East. We should all be proud of our troops and their admirable service overseas. It is time to bring them home in a responsible manner.

Economic development, regional diplomacy, and effective political and legal institutions are the keys to success in the region. But these efforts cannot succeed amidst pervasive violence and insecurity.

Syria

Zoe has led bipartisan efforts to urge Presidents of both political parties to consult and receive authorization from Congress prior to ordering the use of U.S. military force in Syria, citing the President’s responsibility to do so prescribed in the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973.

She believes the nation's Founders wisely gave the Office of the President the authority to act in emergencies, but foresaw the need to ensure public debate — and the active engagement of Congress — prior to committing U.S. military assets.  Engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution.

Human Rights in Vietnam

Zoe is proud to have co-founded the Congressional Caucus on Vietnam with Former Representatives Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) and Tom Davis (R-VA) and serves as a current co-Chair. The actions of all nations must be measured against the standards of international behavior to which they have agreed. Having laws alone does not guarantee that they will be enforced or respected. This is clear in the case of Vietnam.

As a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Vietnam is obliged to recognize freedom of expression. Article 69 of its own Constitution states: "the citizen shall enjoy freedom of opinion and speech, freedom of the press, the right to be informed, and the right to assemble..." Nonetheless, the government of Vietnam repeatedly and consciously violates its international obligations with its relentless persecution of those expressing their right to freedom of expression.

As an active Member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Vietnam, Zoe will continue to bring attention to political persecution in Vietnam and put pressure on the Vietnamese government to improve their human rights records.

More on Foreign Policy and Human Rights

July 17, 2018 Press Release
Following passage of a new law in Vietnam that severely curtails privacy rights of Vietnamese citizens, Zoe Lofgren joined her Co-Chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Vietnam calling for the heads of Google and Facebook to live up to their firms’ stated missions to promote openness and connectivity in Vietnam.
May 8, 2018 Press Release
Zoe Lofgren issued a statement regarding President Trump announcement that he will withdraw the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
May 8, 2018 Press Release
Zoe Lofgren issued a statement today regarding a Trump Administration decision to refer every person entering the country between ports of entry for federal prosecution, a policy that will dramatically increase the separation of parents from their children.
May 2, 2018 In The News

On the same day that President Donald Trump ordered the U.S. military to strike Syrian military facilities in response to the latest purported regime-ordered chemical attack, a large bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House of Representatives sent the president a letter in which they “strongly urge[d]” him to seek Congressional approval before acting.

April 13, 2018 Press Release
Zoe Lofgren led 88 bipartisan Members of Congress in a letter urging President Trump to consult and receive authorization from Congress prior to ordering the use of U.S. military force in Syria, citing the President’s responsibility to do so prescribed in the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973.
January 8, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON—Twelve members of the United States Senate and 33 members of the United States House filed a Congressional amicus brief in the appeal of the case City of Chicago v. Sessions, which is the lawsuit that the City of Chicago brought in August seeking a preliminary injunction to stop Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) from blocking critical violence prevention funds from American cities in order to boost the Trump Administration's extreme immigration agenda.

October 26, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following reports that a ten-year-old disabled child was taken into custody by Border Patrol agents immediately after emergency surgery at the Driscoll's Children hospital in Corpus Christi, U.S. Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) wrote to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke today raising concerns that the child's detention is unjust, inhumane, and will create community-wide fear resulting in immigrants not seeking medical care, even for their children.

September 27, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) Ranking Member of the House Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee, issued the following statement today after an annual refugee consultation with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Elaine Duke in which officials confirmed the Trump Administration would set an historically low refugee ceiling of 45,000 for the 2018 fiscal year:

September 13, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), Ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Ranking Member on the Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee, issued the following statement today after news reports indicated the Trump Administration was considering establishing a refugee ceiling of less than 50,000 for the 2018 fiscal year:

August 30, 2017 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, all House Judiciary Committee Democrats, led by Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and Immigration Subcommittee Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), wrote to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (D-VA) to ask that he investigate Trump's pardon of controversial sheriff Joe Arpaio and related events.

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