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REP. MONDAIRE JONES DELIVERS FLOOR REMARKS DURING HOUSE DEBATE ON AMERICAN DREAM AND PROMISE ACT

March 18, 2021

Rep. Jones uplifts story of Spring Valley resident Paul Pierrilus, who was unjustly and illegally deported to Haiti earlier this year

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congressman Mondaire Jones (D-NY) delivered remarks on the House floor during debate on H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, legislation to establish a pathway to legal permanent residency for Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients.

In his remarks, Congressman Jones uplifted the story of his constituent Paul Pierrilus, who was unjustly and illegally deported to Haiti earlier this year, despite not being a Haitian citizen and never having been to the country.

The Congressman’s full remarks are below and can be viewed here.

Thank you Madam Speaker,

I swear sometimes I stand in this chamber and I feel like I’m in the twilight zone listening to a number of my Republican colleagues espouse white supremacist ideology to denigrate our Dreamers, our wonderful Dreamers.

I’m over here standing with a clear understanding that this bill does not go far enough. 

I want to share the story of a constituent of mine, Mr. Paul Pierrilus of our Spring Valley, New York community, who was deported to Haiti, a country where he had never even been, in apparent defiance of the President’s 100-day executive order.

We need a bill that goes further. 

I’m going to vote for this, but we need a bill that goes further, that forgives people who make mistakes, and Mr. Pierrilus in his case made a mistake in his early twenties. 

We need a bill that allows him to return home and I’m going to be fighting for that moving forward. 

I yield the balance of my time.

About Mondaire: Mondaire Jones is the 33-year-old Congressman from New York’s 17th District, serving Westchester and Rockland Counties. He serves on the House Judiciary, Education and Labor, and Ethics Committees and is the first openly gay, Black member of Congress. A product of East Ramapo public schools, Mondaire was raised in Section 8 housing and on food stamps in the Village of Spring Valley by a single mother who worked multiple jobs to provide for their family. He later graduated from Stanford University, worked at the Department of Justice during the Obama Administration, and graduated from Harvard Law School. He is a co-founder of the nonprofit Rising Leaders, Inc. and has previously served on the NAACP’s National Board of Directors and on the board of the New York Civil Liberties Union. Most recently, Mondaire worked as a litigator in the Westchester County Law Department. In November, Mondaire was unanimously elected by his colleagues to be the Freshman Representative to Leadership, making him the youngest member of the Democratic House leadership team. In December, Jones was appointed a Deputy Whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and became a Co-Chair of the LGBTQ Equality Caucus. Mondaire was born and raised in Rockland, and resides in Westchester.

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