Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act of 2013by Representative Bill Pascrell Jr.
Posted on 2013-12-11
PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my strong support
for H.R. 3212--the Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction
Prevention and Return Act of 2013, which would help prevent additional
child abductions to foreign countries in the future.
Recently, I was able to meet with a constituent of mine--Michael Elias. Michael has worked in the Bergen County Sheriffs Department and honorably served our country in the Iraq War. Upon his return from his service to our country, Michael and his wife, a citizen of Japan, agreed to separate.
In 2008, a Bergen County judge ordered joint custody of their two children--Jade and Michael, Jr. The judge also ordered that the children's passports be surrendered and they were. After a few months, on a day like any other, Michael was expecting his ex-wife to drop off Jade and Michael, Jr. to his house after spending the day with her. They never showed up. Somehow, his ex-wife was able to obtain new passports for Jade and Michael, Jr. and had fled to Japan, which is not a party to the Hague Convention on Abduction.
Despite Michael's years of inquiries and toil, The Government of Japan has produced no answers on how his ex-wife was able to obtain the new visas for Jade and Michael, Jr. And nearly five years later, Michael has not been able see his own children.
This bill will help countless families across the country that face the same heartbreaking situation that Michael Elias is still dealing with today. Our State Department must be on the frontlines for people like Michael, who have literally put their life on the line for this country. H.R. 1951 will empower the State Department to advocate for the victims of these tragic abductions.
And that is why I urge my colleagues to join me in passing H.R. 3212, for people like Michael Elias and the countless families that have been wrongfully torn apart.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from California (Mr. Royce) that the House suspend the rules and pass the bill, H.R. 3212, as amended.
The question was taken.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.