McConnell Co-Sponsors Bipartisan Resolution to Combat International Parental Child Abduction
Today, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced a bipartisan Senate resolution that designates April 2019 as “Countering International Parental Child Abduction” month and instructs the federal government to educate state and local law enforcement about the issue and how to combat it. The resolution is co-sponsored by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Marco Rubio (R-FL).
According to the Department of State, from 2008 to 2015 more than 9,000 American children were taken abroad by a parent to obstruct their (usually) former spouse from seeing their child. International child abduction has devastating long-term impacts on both the children and their left-behind parents. Research shows that an abducted child is at risk of significant short- and long-term problems, including anxiety, eating problems, nightmares, mood swings, sleep disturbances, and aggressive behavior. Their left-behind parents face similar struggles.
“The U.S. Senate stands with the parents enduring one of the most difficult experiences imaginable – fighting for the return of an abducted child. I’ve had the joyous opportunity to help reunite Kentuckians separated by international parental abduction, and I will continue to work with my colleagues, the administration, and stakeholders so we can make more of these successful outcomes possible,” said U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“Every year hundreds of American-citizen children across the nation are abducted abroad in order to obstruct their left-behind parent’s custody rights,” said Senator Tillis. “The federal government has tools to prevent the abduction and secure the return of our citizen-children but has consistently failed to use them. I hope this resolution demonstrates to the executive branch that the Senate is serious about ending international parental child abduction and that we will hold their feet to the fire until every single American child is returned home.”
“It’s hard to imagine a more devastating situation for parents than their children being abducted and taken to a foreign country,” said Senator Feinstein. “Unfortunately, this happens more frequently than one would expect and it’s incredibly difficult for parents to get their children back. Our resolution raises awareness of this important issue.”
Earlier this month, Secretary Pompeo was urged to make more relentless and effective efforts to bring abducted American children back home to the United States by using all of the tools and resources at the State Department’s disposal.
Read the resolution here.