Rep. Blunt Rochester defends support for migrants’ med screenings

DOVER — It wasn’t an “either or” situation, U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del, said Friday night at Delaware State University.

Backing recent legislation to establish uniform medical screening processes for migrants apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol didn’t minimize the importance of supporting veterans, she stressed at a town hall style meeting.

“It was not a choice between veterans and illegal people,” she said before a diverse gathering of 150 or so at the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center.

The First State congresswoman said House Resolution 3525, the U.S. Border Patrol Medical Screening Standards Act, had nothing to do with veterans, whose issues deserve ample examination and responses as well.

From the outset of the public gathering, Rep. Blunt Rochester maintained her stance was misrepresented in a recent opinion column authored by Delaware Republican Party Chairwoman Jane Brady.

State Sen. Dave Lawson, R-Marydel, stood in support of the 72,000 veterans in Delaware, presented his case briefly and agreed with the congresswoman to schedule more local roundtable discussions. That promise was met with applause from the crowd.

“Veterans have been trying to do this for a long, long time here,” Sen. Lawson said about increasing medical information sharing to improve their response to needs.

Also, Vietnam Veterans of America Delaware Chapter President Paul Davis lamented struggles with claims to the Veterans Affairs and concerns that a digital system may not be in place for 14 years.

The back-and-forth conversation also covered healthcare system concerns, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, border security, inclusion, ongoing divisiveness, immigration and more.

About 60 minutes in, the impeachment inquiry took center stage, which Rep. Blunt Rochester noted arose in a Sussex County meeting about the same time as well.

“This is not something that can be taken in a cavalier way,” she said. “It was a heavy moment for me when I called for an impeachment inquiry.”
The House of Representatives portion of the process should be completed by the end of the year, according to the congresswoman. The televised proceedings were an opportunity for the American people to see and hear testimony, with more possible due to pending subpoenas, she said..

A complete accounting of the information will determine whether articles of impeachment are drafted for a vote to move to matter to the U.S. Senate, she said.

No matter what becomes of the current administration, she said “it’s not right for foreign interference with our elections” and warned that other countries “want to see us come apart.”

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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