Meet Rep. Adriano Espaillat, our Benefit for Change keynote speaker

October 22, 2019

CWS is honored to welcome Congressman Adriano Espaillat of New York’s 13th Congressional District to the Benefit for Change as our Keynote Speaker. In 1996 Espaillat was the first Dominican-American elected to a state legislature, and since then his service has been marked by an unwavering commitment to integrity, justice, and equal representation for all. Espaillat is a strong supporter of welcoming newcomers to the United States.

“Having come to this country as an immigrant myself, I take the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant policies personally,” said Espaillat. “When my constituents inform me that they are afraid to go to work or drop off their child at school – that’s personal. When the administration dedicates the resources of an entire agency for the sole purpose of demonizing immigrants – that’s personal. When families are torn apart and when students are uprooted from the only place they have ever called home – that’s personal, too.” Espaillat’s history as a community-activist is still apparent in his congressional engagement, as he continues to be distinguished as a reformer and a progressive.

Now in his second term in Congress, Espaillat is advocating for policies that protect and empower vulnerable communities. He has cosponsored bills that expand healthcare access for immigrants and ensure accountability for migrant deaths in U.S. custody. We are particularly thankful for Espaillat’s recent co-sponsorship of the GRACE Act (H.R.2146), legislation that sets a minimum refugee admissions goal of 95,000 and increases congressional oversight over the operations of the resettlement program.

Espaillat made his stance on immigration clear this past World Refugee Day, when he stated, “The United States must continue to provide refuge for asylum seekers and individuals who face extraordinary instability due to war, famine, natural disaster or political unrest…The United States has the moral responsibility as a global leader to welcome all those who have nowhere else to call home. We must remember the principles on which our country was founded, and not turn our back on individuals seeking opportunity, hope and freedom.”

We are honored to have Representative Espaillat join us on November 7th at the Museum of Chinese in America, and we can’t wait to see you there too. Get your tickets today!