Dr. Andy Harris & Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger on 6-21-2018 bring up an amendment for the return of Gabriel and Anastasia Hunkovic.

2 thoughts on “Dr. Andy Harris & Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger on 6-21-2018 bring up an amendment for the return of Gabriel and Anastasia Hunkovic.

  1. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    June 21, 2018

    Contact: Jacque Clark, 202-225-5311

    House Committee Approves Harris Language Addressing International Child Abductions

    WASHINGTON, DC: On June 20, the House Committee on Appropriations passed the FY19 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill. Congressman Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01) authored, and the committee approved, language regarding international child abduction cases. The language urges the State Department to take all appropriate actions to secure the return of abducted American children, and requires the Secretary of State to submit an annual report of countries with pending cases that are more than 12 months old. Congressman Harris released the following statement in support of the bill’s passage:

    “Anastasia and Gabriel Hunkovic, the children of one of my constituents, were abducted to Trinidad and Tobago against an American judge’s custody order. The Trinidadian government has refused to comply with the extradition request submitted by the United States government, but I am working diligently to secure the safe return of these children to the United States and to the care of their father. These children are American citizens, and belong with their father here in Maryland. It is imperative that the State Department use every tool available to bring these children back.”

    Congressman Harris’ bill language and report language read as follows:

    Bill Language

    7034(g) (Bill Language) International Child Abductions. – The Secretary of State should withhold funds appropriated under title III of this Act for assistance for the central government of any country that is not taking appropriate steps to comply with the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abductions, done at the Hague on October 25, 1980: Provided, That the Secretary shall report to the Committees on Appropriations within 15 days of withholding funds under this subsection.

    Report Language

    Child abduction and access.- The Committee notes that when making use of the waiver in section 204 of the Goldman Act (P.L. 113-150), the Secretary of State is required to provide a detailed justification for such waiver involving a country with a pattern of non-compliance. The Committee expects the Secretary of State to comply with this requirement. Further, the Committee directs the Secretary to include in such justification the reason, if any, for why actions 4 through 8 under section 204(d) are not being taken. Additionally, the Secretary shall include in the annual report required by section 101 of such Act a list of countries with pending cases that are more than 12 months old and shall also provide such report to the Committees on Appropriations.

    The Committee is concerned about reports of the unlawful removal of United States minors to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, including Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago. The Committee directs the Secretary of State to aggressively advocate for such minors and to work with host governments to facilitate their return. The Secretary of State should also consider taking further actions, as appropriate, such as those described in section 7034(g) of this Act and those contained in section 201(b) of the Goldman Act, with a priority on cases that have been unresolved for more than a year.

    The full text of the bill and accompanying report can be found on the House Appropriations Committee’s website.

    ###

    Jacque Clark

    Press Secretary

    Congressman Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01)

    1533 Longworth House Office Building

    Washington, DC 20515

    P: 202.225.5311

    F: 202.225.0254

    Jacque.Clark@mail.house.gov

    cid:image003.jpg@01CDB2B7.CF4E31E0

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