Christopher Smith

Christopher Smith

NEW JERSEY's 4th DISTRICT

Smith, Bass Unveil Bill to Reauthorize Efforts to Fight Human Trafficking

2017/04/27

Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), lead co-Sponsor Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37), and 7 other co-Sponsors today introduced the bipartisan Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Act of 2017 named after the famous American abolitionist on the eve of the 200th anniversary of his birth. This piece of legislation will reauthorize $130 million in funding for the prevention of human trafficking, protection of victims and prosecution of traffickers.

     “It is an honor to commemorate Frederick Douglass with this legislation, highlighting his unending dedication to the prevention and eradication of slavery,” said Smith, author of the landmark law—Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA). When I first introduced the TVPA in 1998, it offered a bold new strategy that included sheltering, asylum and other protections for the victims; long jail sentences and asset confiscation for the traffickers and tough sanctions for governments that failed to meet minimum standards in the new global effort to combat trafficking of women and children. For almost 20 years, our landmark U.S. legislation has truly made a difference and has become the model for the world. It is critical that we continue United States leadership in efforts to end human trafficking both domestically and abroad.” Click Here to Read Smith’s Full Statement.

     “The child welfare to sex trafficking pipeline must stop,” said Bass. The majority of trafficking victims are abused and neglected girls in the foster care system. One of my major concerns remains the lack of safe and stable housing for this underserved population of youth. Escaping is not an option without access to safe housing equipped to meet the special needs of victimized youth. Too many young girls end up homeless and falling prey to a cycle of trafficking and exploitation. Mislabeling them as runaways, juveniles or simply homeless fails to acknowledge their trauma as victims within the child welfare system. Because they are victims under the care of the government and have fallen through the cracks, we have failed them. Eliminating pathways to child sex trafficking inevitably requires the elimination of youth homelessness. Our government has an urgent responsibility to shut down pathways for child sex trafficking and to invest in critical housing needs for vulnerable girls and foster youth.”

     The original co-Sponsors include Rep. Ed Royce (CA-39), Rep. Shelia Jackson-Lee (TX-18), Rep. Susan Brooks (IN-05), Rep. Lois Frankel (FL-21), Rep. Ann Wagner (MO-02), Rep. Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) and Rep. Ted Poe (TX-02).

     “I am delighted to be an original cosponsor of the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act,” said Wagner. “The TVPA makes momentous steps toward combatting trafficking at home and abroad, and it reiterates congressional expectations that the Department of Justice prosecute buyers of trafficking victims. These horrific crimes happen because predators are able to purchase innocent women and children in a supply-and-demand market. Prosecuting these buyers and undercutting demand are imperative to putting an end to this form of modern-day slavery and should be one of the top priorities of Federal law enforcement.”

     “Human trafficking is an issue that really hits home for us in Los Angeles,” said Cárdenas. “In 2004, when I was a city councilman, I became aware of 12 women were forced to work as prostitutes in a South Los Angeles brothel to pay off debts for being smuggled. That was a wake-up call for me. We can, and should, be doing more to prevent human trafficking. I’m proud to join Congressman Smith to introduce this legislation and move the needle forward on this crucial issue.”

     “Today, more than any time in the past, the possibility exists of a world without the commercial exploitation of people thanks to an evolving emphasis on primary prevention,” said Ken Morris, the great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass and co-founder of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiative. “Slavery has plagued humankind for hundreds of generations, perhaps, since the beginning of civilization. We can reverse the progress of slavery by fortifying individuals and the social structures around them through the application of knowledge. The introduction of this bill, with its commitment to prevention, is a modest but deeply transformational moment in how we respond to human trafficking. The prevention education era is here.”

     Among other key provisions, this bill:

·         Directs grant money for the education of vulnerable children to avoid traffickers;

·         Incentivizes hotels to train their employees to identify potential trafficking victims;

·         Requires pilots and flight attendants to have airline industry-specific anti-trafficking training;

·         Enhances and funds Department of Labor reporting to Customs and Border Patrol and businesses on foreign products and components likely tainted with human trafficking, helping to keep these products out of the U.S.—and profits out of the hands of traffickers; 

·         Educates procurement officers in U.S. government agencies to apply all U.S. law and regulations preventing purchases of goods made with trafficking or services from contractors who participate in human trafficking;

·         Encourages  more accurate reporting and tier ranking in the U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report, which is used to guide better policy and accountability at home and abroad; and

·         Empowers trafficking survivors to educate government on better, more effective anti-trafficking policies.  

     After the original TVPA, Smith wrote two subsequent anti-trafficking laws (PL 108-193 and PL 109-164) increasing resources for crime prevention and expanding treatment assistance for victims.

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Nutrition Aid in Areas of Conflict, a Proven Return on Investment

2017/04/27

Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), Chairman of the House panel on Africa and Global Health, today convened the seventh in a series of dialogues set to increase communications between Congress and the African Diplomatic Corps. This afternoon’s dialogue specifically examined nutrition in areas of conflict. Sub-Saharan Africa hosts more than 1.5 million refugees, and within African countries, an estimated 12.4 million are internally displaced.

      “As problematic as it is to achieve and maintain proper nutrition in normal circumstances, all too many African countries must cope with the impact of conflict – in their own countries or as a result of conflict in neighboring countries,” Smith said.  “Governments involved in conflict and their neighbors are faced with providing services to affected populations, but while shelter and medicine are usually provided, nutrition too often suffers – both for refugee populations and citizens within these countries.”

     The event’s keynote speaker was Ambassador Tony Hall, former Member of Congress and former head of the U.S. mission to the United Nations agencies in Rome: the World Food Program, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.  He is a three-time nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.

     “Make no mistake, these famines we are talking about today are manmade, and it takes leaders to alleviate the suffering caused by them,” said Hall. “Today, we are confronted with the harrowing fact that 20 million people in four countries are on the verge of starving to death. And this brings me to my message to you today.  In a world where as a whole we have made so much progress, but are also seeing dire emergency situations right now, why would we even dream of considering any cuts to food aid and development programs?  This is not only irresponsible, but also inhumane.” 

     The other speakers at the dialogue were: Ms. Beth Dunford, Assistant U.S. Agency for International Development Agency Administrator for Food Security and Deputy Coordinator for Development for Feed the Future; Tanzania Ambassador Wilson Mutagaywa Masilingi and Cote d’Ivoire Ambassador Daouda Diabaté.

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Easing Sudan Sanctions: Triumph or Tragedy?

2017/04/26

Earlier this year, the Obama Administration made the unilateral decision to break with nearly three decades of U.S. foreign policy and ease sanctions on the government of Sudan. Today, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) held a hearing entitled “The Questionable Case for Easing Sudan Sanctions” to examine the reasons for this lifting, and to investigate the effects this will have on the people of Sudan and U.S. interests in the region.

     “The Obama administration, in its last days in office in January, purported to see justification in ending sanctions built over decades,” said Smith, Chairman of the House panel on Africa. “In its announcement of the easing of sanctions, the previous administration declared positive actions by the Sudan government in five key areas. Missing in this list of positive developments is improvement in the overall human rights situation in Sudan.” Click Here to Read Smith’s Full Statement.

     The Obama Administration’s decision to ease sanctions, a decision that also breaks with current U.N. policy, began implementation just three days before Obama left office requires full implementation within six months. The decision has received mixed reviews. Several experts on Sudan have noted that there has been insufficient time to review progress of the government, particularly in the context of achieving unimpeded humanitarian access to Darfur and other conflict areas. They also argue that easing financial pressure on the regime will allow it to further consolidate power and lessen U.S. leverage.

     “It is incumbent on the U.S. government to honestly consider the conditions under which sanctions easing is justified,” said Smith. “As stated earlier, the Government of Sudan is fully capable of meeting the requirements outlined in the January executive order, but we must be sure of the extent to which that government is abiding by them and urge them to do more where necessary. Various reports indicate that attacks on civilians, including sexual-based violence, continues by government and allied forces.”

     Brad Brooks-Rubin, the Policy Director at The Sentry, explained that in many cases, Sudan assists access to humanitarian crises in other countries more effectively than their own, “While the government of Sudan is allowing cross-border humanitarian access to areas in South Sudan affected by famine, humanitarian access for parts of Blue Nile and South Kordofan states remains restricted. The people in several isolated areas urgently need assistance and have been killed while moving through active conflict zones to find food and basic supplies.” Click Here to Read Brooks-Rubin’s Full Statement.

     David Dettoni, Senior Advisor at Sudan Relief Fund also highlighted the lack of assistance in war-torn regions of Sudan, “Since the implosion of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the only type of “assistance” Khartoum has brought to the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile is military, and the guns, tanks, rockets, aerial bombardment is not meant to develop or grow individuals, but to maim, destroy, kill.” Click Here to Read Dettoni’s Full Statement.

     Mohammed Abubakr, President of the Africa-Middle Eastern Leadership Project, noted the areas where the government has not yet met their obligations. “The conditions tied to the sanctions relief, which made no demands on the government to address the daily violations of human rights, the suppression of the press, and the unlawful arrest and torture of activists and journalists. Such easing of sanctions without requiring any reforms in exchange hurts the very people that the sanctions were created to protect.” Click Here to Read Abubakr’s Full Statement.

     Ambassador Princeton Lyman, Senior Advisor to the President at U.S. Institute of Peace, explained the process of the dialogue, “The U.S. has not had a constructive dialogue with the Government of Sudan since 2013 when it engaged in the final stages of resolving the issues between Sudan and South Sudan. The Government of Sudan was largely impervious to one. This latest initiative, based on patient, hard work by the U.S., has reopened the dialogue. It is wisely not based on a full roadmap to normalized relations.” Click Here to read Lyman’s Full Statement.

     “Even though human rights improvement is not one of the requirements in the executive order, we must not as a government ignore this aspect. Successive administrations and Congresses have worked hard to ensure that human rights concerns in Sudan are addressed,” said Smith. “Now is not the time to abandon decades of work by men and women of good will in our government and the many American citizens who have supported our efforts.  We also must not forsake the welfare of the people of Sudan for whom our efforts all this time have been made.”

     Smith has chaired 10 hearings on U.S. policy toward Sudan since 2005. The most recent, entitled “U.S. Policy toward Sudan and South Sudan,” took place in 2014.

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<span class="kicker">Press Conference on Human Trafficking Set for April 27th</span>Frederick Douglass Trafficking Bill Will Help Victims, Punish Traffickers

2017/04/25

Almost 200 years ago, Frederick Douglass began his astonishing life dedicated to educating others on the horrors of slavery. On Thursday, April 27, 2017, Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37), Rep. Ann Wagner (MO-02), Lois Frankel (FL-21) and Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., the great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass and the Co-Founder & President of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, will be holding a press conference to highlight the introduction of a new bill that aims to end modern slavery created through Human Trafficking. This bill bears the great American abolitionist’s name, the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Act.

     This legislation will build on Smith’s landmark Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPRA), strengthening penalties against traffickers and reauthorizing $130 million in funding for the prevention of human trafficking, protection of victims and prosecution of traffickers.

     “When I introduced the Trafficking Victims Protection Act in 1998, it was met with incredulity and indifference—we were told that we had a solution in search of a problem,” said Smith. “We were blocked at high levels of government. The wheels of justice turned slowly, but they have carried us to a place in the United States, and internationally, where the fight against human trafficking cuts across political parties and borders, national and international institutions. Victims are being rescued and rehabilitated. Traffickers are being imprisoned in record numbers. Those alongside us will soon outnumber those fighting against us.”   

     “As we continue to tackle the growing epidemic of child sex trafficking in the United States, it is important to focus on the special housing needs of young girls in the foster care system,” said Bass. “The majority of underage trafficking victims are girls in foster care, where the average age of a girl entering into sex trafficking is twelve years old. One of the major reasons girls cannot escape is because they do not have housing. The government has failed them by allowing them to fall through the cracks. Young girls and disconnected youth have unique needs as trafficking victims. It is our responsibility to eliminate barriers to safety and to prevent further victimization and exploitation of young girls under the care and protection of the government. This bill is a good step forward in raising awareness of the collective and coordinated efforts required at every level of government to stop and prevent child sex trafficking.”

     “I am delighted to be an original cosponsor of the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act,” said Wagner. “The TVPA makes momentous steps toward combatting trafficking at home and abroad, and it reiterates congressional expectations that the Department of Justice prosecute buyers of trafficking victims. These horrific crimes happen because predators are able to purchase innocent women and children in a supply-and-demand market. Prosecuting these buyers and undercutting demand are imperative to putting an end to this form of modern-day slavery and should be one of the top priorities of Federal law enforcement.”

Who:               Chris Smith (NJ-04), Karen Bass (CA-37), Ann Wagner (MO-02), Lois Frankel (FL-21) and Kenneth B. Morris Jr.

What:              Press Conference on Human Trafficking

When:             Thursday, April 27, 2017 10:15 AM

Where:            House Triangle

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Protecting from Famine in South Sudan

2017/04/25

Today, Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), Chairman of the House panel on Africa, took to the House Floor in support of H. Res. 187:

Last August, my staff director Greg Simpkins and I visited Juba, South Sudan, to press President Salva Kiir, his Vice President, the Minister of Defense, and five of his top generals, to end the civil war, protect innocent lives and reverse the conditions causing rampant disease and severe malnutrition that could soon lead to a famine.

Just two months ago, famine was formally declared in South Sudan.

I especially asked President Kiir to personally intervene to issue and enforce an executive order of zero-tolerance on rape and sexual abuse by his soldiers and security personnel against mostly humanitarian aid workers and civilians.

On March 28th, I chaired a hearing on famine and the growing crisis in South Sudan and other nations in the region.

Matt Nims, the Acting Director of the US Food for Peace Office, testified “that for three years, the international community has employed massive efforts to stave off famine in South Sudan. Yet as conflict intensified, the food security situation continued to deteriorate…This is a man-made crisis and the direct consequence of prolonged conflict.”

 Ken Isaacs, Vice President of Samaritan’s Purse, testified “The most significant driver of the current crisis in the worst hit areas of South Sudan, however, is the political insecurity and brutal conflict that continues to engulf the region. In South Sudan alone, 1.85 million people have been internally displaced…because of this, many people are calling this a manmade famine, and it is hard to argue with that assessment.”

 Today, the United Nations reports that two-thirds of South Sudan’s population requires humanitarian assistance, and almost 5 million people – more than 40 percent of the population – are in urgent need of food, agriculture and nutritional assistance. 

The Government of South Sudan and the rebels they face are more interested in winning and holding territory than in finding ways to feed their people and allow humanitarian access. 

Two months ago there were 70 humanitarian access incidents reported, causing suspension of operations in multiple locations as aid workers had to be relocated.  Aid workers are being targeted in South Sudan, where 8 Samaritan’s Purse workers were kidnapped and later released in February, and six African aid workers in South Sudan were killed in March.

Stephen O’Brien from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs accused the South Sudan government of blocking foods and restricting UN peacekeepers from protecting civilians.  He described active hostility, access denials and bureaucratic impediments to humanitarian organizations serving the beleaguered population of South Sudan.  The man-made famine in South Sudan has driven 1.7 million people into neighboring countries.  Uganda alone has sheltered more than 800,000 South Sudanese.

Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to support H. Res. 187, which calls for the U.S. government to work with other donors to accelerate the disbursement of promised aid and urges the Government of South Sudan and its rebel opponents to cease hostilities immediately to allow their citizens to receive the food and medical care they so desperately need. 

One million South Sudanese children are suffering from malnutrition today, and more than 17,000 children are being pressed into service as child soldiers.  South Sudan’s youth is at grave risk; we must act now to save that country’s future.

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<span class="kicker">Congressional Diplomatic Dialogue Set for April 27</span>Nutrition in Areas of Conflict Topic of Congressional Briefing

2017/04/25

Sub-Saharan Africa hosts more than 26 percent of the world’s refugees—civil war in South Sudan alone has now produced more than 1.7 million refugees since 2013.  Even within African countries, an estimated 12.4 million are internally displaced.  Governments involved in conflict and their neighbors are faced with providing services to affected populations, but while shelter and medicine are usually provided, nutrition too often suffers – both for refugee populations and citizens within these countries. 

     Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), Chairman of the House panel on Africa, called a Congressional-Diplomatic briefing to examine this situation and suggest strategies for overcoming deficiencies in nutrition in conflict in and around conflict zones. He will be joined by the Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture, the Honorable Tony Hall, the Assistant to the USAID Administrator and Deputy Coordinator for Development for Feed the Future, Beth Dunford and two African Abmassadors, H.E. Wilson Mutagaywa Masilingi of the United Republic of Tanzania and H.E. Daouda Diabate of the Republic of Cote D’Ivoire.

Who:              
Chairman Smith (NJ-04)
Chairman of the House panel on Africa and Global Human Rights

The Honorable Tony Hall
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture

Beth Dunford
Assistant to the USAID Administrator and Deputy Coordinator for Development for Feed the Future

H.E. Wilson Mutagaywa Masilingi
Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania

H.E. Daouda Diabate
Ambassador of the Republic of Cote D’Ivoire

What:              Congressional Diplomatic Briefing on Nutrition in Areas of Conflict

When:             Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Where:            Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2255 (second floor)

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<span class="kicker">Presentation before White House Meeting</span>Smith Urges UN Security Council to Step Up Fight on Human Trafficking in Peacekeeper Operations

2017/04/24

Just before their historic White House meeting today with President Trump, all 14 members of the United Nations Security Council were briefed by Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), Chairman of the House panel on International Organizations, on the critical matters that will help form the agenda U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley sets as the new President of the Council.

     “The Security Council is at the core of our post-World War II world,” said Smith, who also serves as Congress’ Representative to the U.N.. “To give a presentation to all members of the security council, to exchange views and to work to persuade them on critical geo-political issues offered an extra-ordinary opportunity,” the senior foreign policy lawmaker said.

     Smith highlighted the scourge of human trafficking to the Security Council Members, and urged them step up their efforts to fight trafficking. While individual countries have implemented legislation to combat human trafficking, such as Smith’s landmark Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) in the United States, fully ending this horrendous practice will take further international cooperation and follow through by Security Council members.

     The U.N.’s unfinished business on human trafficking is real and final accountability,” said Smith. “Regrettably, we have peacekeepers who engage in human trafficking with impunity. Sometimes they are removed from their deployment but almost never are they prosecuted when they are sent home. There are 112,000 peacekeepers in 16 deployments worldwide. Zero tolerance means prosecution of the abusers, not reassignment.”

     At the event held at the Blair House this morning, Smith was joined by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37), who also serves with Smith on the House panel on International Organizations. During the discussion, each member was given the opportunity to brief the U.N. Security Council Ambassadors on topics currently neglected by the Security Council.

     On North Korea, Smith spoke directly to Chinese ambassador Liu Jieyi urging China’s greater involvement in thwarting the means of delivery of nuclear weapons. Smith also forewarned of the dangers of the fanatical worship of the Kim family and government as a state religion, sometimes called Juche, enabling the Korean people to “blindly follow Kim even into nuclear war.”

     On Syria, Smith urged the Security Council members to consider the establishment of a specific war tribunal for the region noting that the ICC has been ineffective and a regional tribunal will allow for investigation and accountability for all who have committed crimes against humanity.

     Smith, who led a fact-finding human rights mission to South Sudan last August, noted that the U.N. deployment there has significantly enhanced their mission and mitigated violence and abuse.

     “With the United States once again taking the lead in the Security Council, and with Nikki Haley at the helm, I am optimistic the weight of this body can be used to truly make a positive difference in the world,” said Smith. “The Ambassador has proven herself to be an effective leader and I look forward to working with her to help end human trafficking and address the many other global security concerns.”

     At the meeting were representatives from Ethiopia: H.E. Mr. Tekeda Alemu, Bolivia: H.E. Mr. Sacha Sergio Llorentty Soliz, China: H.E. Mr. Liu Jieyi, Italy: H.E. Mr Sebastiano Cardi, Russia: Mr. Petr V. Ilichev, France: H.E. Mr Francois Delattre, Egypt: H.E. Mr. Amr Abde-latif Aboulatta, Senegal: H.E. Mr. Fode Seck, Sweden: H.E. Mr. Olof Skoog, U.K.: H.E. Mr. Matthew Rycroft, Uruguay: H.E. Mr. Elbio Rosselli, Ukraine: H.E. Mr. Volodymyr Yelchenko, Japan: H.E. Mr Koro Bessho and Kazakhstan: H.E. Mr. Kairat Umarov

     The presidency of the Security Council rotates between the members of the Security Council every month, with order determined by the English alphabetical order of the Member States names. The president of the Security Council has the important role of calling meetings and approving the provisional agenda of meetings.

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<span class="kicker">Hearing on Sudan set for April 26</span>Sudan Sanctions Topic of House Hearing

2017/04/20

WASHINGTON, DC—In 1988, the United States first imposed economic restrictions on Sudan due to its egregious human rights violations. Since then, conflicts in Darfur, Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan have only increased the humanitarian disaster created by the Khartoum-based Government of Omar al Bashir.

     Despite nearly three decades of bipartisan support for sanctions against Sudan, the Obama Administration decided to partially ease sanctions—with the first provisions taking effect on January 17th of this year, just three days before Obama left office. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), Chairman of the House panel on Africa, will be convening a hearing to review the reasons for the lifting of these sanctions, and to investigate what the effects will be on the people of Sudan, who continue to suffer under al Bashir.

     “One week before leaving office, the Obama administration announced an easing of sanctions on Sudan, a state-sponsor of terrorism that has long harbored jihadi extremists,” said Smith. “The Khartoum government has also waged a long standing war against its own people in the Darfur region as well as in the Nuba Mountains and the Abyei area. This hearing will examine the suspect rationale used to propose the easing of sanctions against this East African nation.”

Who:               Chairman Smith (NJ-04), Senior Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations; other members of the Committee

Witness:         
Mr. Brad Brooks-Rubin
Policy Director
The Sentry

Mr. David Dettoni
Senior Advisor
Sudan Relief Fund

Mr. Mohamed Abubakr
President
The African Middle Eastern Leadership Project

The Honorable Princeton N. Lyman
Senior Advisor to the President
United States Institute of Peace

What:              House hearing on sanctions in Sudan

When:             Wednesday, April 26, 2017 2:30 PM

Where:            Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2200 (second floor)

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<span class="kicker">Wall veteran landed in Europe 73 years ago this week…</span>Monmouth Vet Presented w Medals for WWII Service

2017/04/19

U.S. Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04) today presented military service medals to Al Salazar, 93, of Wall Township, NJ, for his service in World War II, including the invasion of Normandy.

   Mr. Salazar served under both General Omar Bradley and later Lt. General George Patton. Among his critical duties were operating as “the radio man” and sending Morse code signals.

   “It was 73 years ago this week that Mr. Salazar landed in Europe as a 20-year-old young man,” said Smith, the former Chairman of the Veterans Committee in the House of Representatives for four years and a senior Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “He is truly part of the ‘Greatest Generation’ that helped liberate Europe and create a foundation for peace after two horrendous World Wars. I am honored and humbled to present these medals to him today on behalf of a grateful nation. We thank God for you and what you did, Mr. Salazar.”

   At a presentation before the veteran’s family at the Xanadu senior condominium club house in Wall, Smith presented Mr. Salazar with:

  • Medal Set, Army Good Conduct Medal
  • European–African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal & Bronze Star Attachment (Quadruple)
  • Medal Set, World War II Victory Medal
  • Honorable Service Lapel Button WWII
  • Marksman Badge & Rifle Bar
  • New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal and Certificate

   After the family experienced difficulties with acquiring the medals, Smith intervened with the National Archives’ National Personal Records Center requesting the medals be issued. The Army approved the request and Smith received the medals in February. Mr. Salazar’s health precluded a medal ceremony until now.

   “These medals are a small but important part of both his life and his family’s history,” Smith said. “I am glad his daughter Linda prompted Mr. Salazar to seek them, because he served his country honorably and is very deserving of this recognition.”

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<span class ="kicker">***U.S. Service Academy Night Planned***</span>Set for April 26 for residents of 4th Congressional District

2017/04/19

A Service Academy Information Night will be held Wednesday, April 26, 2017, from 5:30 to 7:30 at Naval Weapons Station Earle, 201 Highway 34 in Colts Neck, NJ, announced Congressman Christopher H. Smith (NJ-04).

  The event is for any high school or college student (and their parents, counselors or educators) residing in the Fourth Congressional District who is interested in learning about competing for a nomination to one of the United States Service Academies. Each institution plays an integral role in training young men and women to become tomorrow's military leaders and affords them a collegiate education opportunity of the highest quality that is free of financial obligation, providing the student graduates and fulfills his or her service obligation. The academies are:

•           The U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York

•           The U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland

•           The U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado

•           The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York

•           The U.S. Coast Guard Academy at New London, Connecticut.*

  Due to security restrictions on the Navy base, reservations are required by calling (732) 780-3035. All attendees over 18 must present photo ID. All drivers must present ID, auto insurance and registration.

  “Throughout my tenure in Congress, I've had the honor and privilege of nominating many outstanding young men and women for acceptance into our nation's military academies,” said Smith.  “With the United States' continued fight against terrorism throughout the globe and commitment to defending our homeland and protecting national security interests abroad, recruiting top-notch talent for our all-volunteer armed forces is critically important.”

  Members of Congress, U.S. Senators, the Vice President and the President may nominate constituents for acceptance to the academies. Residents of New Jersey’s Fourth Congressional District, between ages 17 and 22 (17-25 for the Merchant Marine Academy), who are U.S. citizens and are single with no dependents, can seek a nomination to one or more of the service academies through Congressman Smith’s office. Interested candidates can start the application process as early as the spring of their junior year in high school. Unlike the other four, the Coast Guard Academy does not require a congressional nomination.

  Nominations are available to those who reside in the District regardless of where they attend high school or college.  The Fourth Congressional District encompasses 44 municipalities and includes parts of Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean counties. Municipalities in the Fourth District include:

Mercer County - Hamilton and Robbinsville;

Ocean County - Bay Head, Jackson, Lakewood, Lakehurst, Manchester, Point Pleasant Beach, portions of Point Pleasant Borough and Plumsted, and;

Monmouth County - Allentown, Avon-By-The-Sea, Belmar, Bradley Beach, Brielle, Colts Neck, Eatontown, Englishtown, Fair Haven, Farmingdale, Freehold Borough, Freehold Township, Holmdel, Howell, Lake Como, Little Silver, Manalapan, Manasquan, portions of Middletown, Millstone, Neptune City, Neptune Township, Ocean Township, Red Bank, Roosevelt, Rumson, Sea Girt, Shrewsbury, Shrewsbury Township, Spring Lake, Spring Lake Heights, Tinton Falls, Upper Freehold and Wall.

  The seminar is free and open to the public, and it will begin promptly at 5:30 p.m.  Advance registration is required.

  IMPORTANT NOTICE: The following items are prohibited aboard Naval Weapons Station Earle: Mace, pepper spray, or other defensive sprays or chemicals; knives, firearms, fireworks or any explosive; illegal drugs or paraphernalia; flammable liquids; club weapons, and; animals. All electronic devices are subject to examination for functionality. The U.S. Navy reserves the right to prohibit other items not listed above.

  For more information contact Mrs. Jo Schloeder or Mrs. Jill Morales at Smith’s Freehold Constituent Service Center, (732) 780-3035.

*The U.S. Coast Guard Academy does not require a congressional nomination. Students may apply directly to the Academy.

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Child Abduction is Child Abuse: Rep. Smith calls for real enforcement of the Goldman Act

2017-04-06 18:04:12


Rep. Chris Smith opens a hearing on Africa's Quiet Famine

2017-03-28 20:47:13


Rep. Chris Smith chairs hearing on Anti-Semitism Across Borders

2017-03-22 16:13:14


Chris Smith: Stop Coercing States to Fund Planned Parenthood

2017-02-17 14:33:10


Chris Smith Speaks on the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act

2017-01-24 20:52:17


Rep. Chris Smith: Support Working Group on Tick-borne Disease

2016-12-01 16:10:17


Rep. Chris Smith: Iran Sanctions Extension Act is a Must Pass

2016-11-16 19:29:03


Update by Rep. Smith: We expect passage on Kevin and Avonte's Law

2016-10-03 17:21:59


Rep. Chris Smith on Obama Veto: Don't choose Saudi King over 9/11 Victims

2016-09-28 20:29:35


Rep. Smith urges support for our 'Jersey Girls' and other 9/11 families

2016-09-09 18:26:34


House Passes Smith's Bill to Give Gold Star Families a Voice

2016-09-06 20:44:55


Rep. Smith opening statement on the Goldman Report

2016-07-14 20:23:01


Rep. Chris Smith: Brazil a textbook case for sanctions

2016-07-14 19:30:46


Rep. Chris Smith: Bindu Philips' Kids Should Come Home

2016-07-14 19:03:31


Rep. Smith on the Conscience Protection Act

2016-07-13 17:35:57


President Obama's epic failure of diplomacy in Vietnam

2016-06-22 19:20:17


Less than 1% of Iraqis & Syrians resettled in US are Christian

2016-06-22 18:20:53


Religious Freedom deserves protection everywhere for everyone- no exceptions

2016-06-17 21:25:35


Rep. Chris Smith on Jobs for Individuals with Autism and Special Needs

2016-05-19 21:48:57


Rep. Chris Smith at the passage of the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act

2016-05-16 22:54:37


Contact Information

2373 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-3765
Fax 202-225-7768
chrissmith.house.gov

Elected in 1980, Rep. Chris Smith (R-Robbinsville, N.J.) is currently in his 17th term in the U.S. House of Representatives, and serves residents in the Fourth Congressional District of New Jersey. Smith, 60, currently serves as a senior member on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and is chairman of its Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organization Subcommittee. In 2011-2012 he chaired both the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. He also serves as “Special Representative” on Human Trafficking for the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, and as an executive member of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. Previously, he served as Chairman of the Veterans Committee (two terms) and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Operations and the Subcommittee on Africa.

Smith has long chaired a number of bipartisan congressional caucuses (working groups) including the Pro-life (31 years), Autism (15 years), Alzheimer’s (13 years), Lyme Disease (nineyears), Spina Bifida (nine years), Human Trafficking (nine years), Refugees (nine years), and Combating Anti-Semitism caucuses, and serves on caucuses on Bosnia, Uganda and Vietnam.

According to the independent watchdog organization Govtrack, as of January 2014 Smith ranks fourth among all 435 Members of the House over the last two decades in the number of laws authored.

He is the author of America’s three landmark anti-human trafficking laws including The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, a comprehensive law designed to prevent modern-day slavery, protect victims, and enhance civil and criminal penalties against traffickers, as well as more than a dozen veterans health, education and homeless benefits laws, and laws to boost embassy security, promote democracy, religious freedom, and health care.

Smith is the author of the $265 million Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005 which established a nationwide program for ethical research and treatment using umbilical cord blood and bone marrow cells. That landmark law was reauthorized in September 2010 for another five years.
In October 2011, Smith’s bill, HR 2005, the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act (CARA) of 2011, was signed into law (Public Law PL112-32), a follow-up to his Autism Statistics, Surveillance, Research, and Epidemiology Act (ASSURE) of 2000.

A lifelong New Jerseyan, Congressman Smith graduated from The College of New Jersey with a degree in business administration. Prior to being elected to Congress, he helped run a small business– his family’s wholesale sporting goods corporation. He is also the former Executive Director of the New Jersey Right to Life Committee.

The congressman is married to his wife of 35 years, Marie, and they have four grown children.


Serving With

Frank LoBiondo

NEW JERSEY's 2nd DISTRICT

Tom MacArthur

NEW JERSEY's 3rd DISTRICT

Leonard Lance

NEW JERSEY's 7th DISTRICT

Rodney Frelinghuysen

NEW JERSEY's 11th DISTRICT

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