Immediate Release: July 7, 2012
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, July 7, 2012, Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) was awarded the President’s Award by the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), a national civil rights organization. The JACL issued the following statement explaining why they presented McDermott with its President’s Award:
“Congressman Jim McDermott has been an ardent supporter for the cause of civil rights during his entire career in the U.S. House of Representatives. He has taken courageous positions in defense of the most vulnerable in our society.
“Just as the JACL cautioned against intolerance directed at Muslim Americans in the aftermath of September 11th, Congressman McDermott has consistently condemned anti-Muslim bigotry. He has been an outspoken critic of provisions of the Patriot Act that compromise individual liberties. In the most recent effort to extend this Act, Congressman McDermott said, ‘Freedom does not have to be compromised to defend liberty. Continuing to weaken fundamental American principles will not leave us more secure, but instead more vulnerable.’
“Congressman McDermott continues to speak against the National Defense Authorization Act, a measure that would empower the president to indefinitely detain American citizens without due process. In remarks on the House floor on December 15, 2011, he said, ‘Our civil liberties would erode if we leave the interpretation of the law to the commander-in-chief. As we continue our counter-terrorism efforts at home and abroad, we are leaving enormous leeway to the current president, the next president, and the president after that to gather intelligence and detain individuals without charge or trial.’
“Congressman McDermott has supported numerous measures in support of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans including the Justice for Wards Cove Workers Act of 2012, which would eliminate the special interest exemption for the Wards Cove Packing Company so that its employees would receive protection under the Civil Rights Act of 1991.”
Follow McDermott on Twitter: @RepJimMcDermott.