Politics: Impeachment hearings highlight immigrants’ stories - - PressFrom - US
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Politics Impeachment hearings highlight immigrants’ stories

11:40  22 november  2019
11:40  22 november  2019 Source:   msn.com

Democrats warn State Dept against punishing individuals who testify in impeachment hearings

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Impeachment hearings shine spotlight on stories of immigrants . One surprising aspect of the impeachment hearings is that they have shone a spotlight on the stories of officials who were born elsewhere and immigrated to the United States in search of a better life.

Trump Impeachment Hearings : Day 5 Highlights . Fiona Hill, the former top Russia expert on the National Security Council, and David Holmes, an I want to ask you as a fellow immigrant what you think of those kind of accusations when they’re leveled against Colonel Vindman or other Americans?”

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WASHINGTON (AP) — One came from northeast England. Another came from the former Soviet Union. A third was born in Canada to parents who’d fled the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.

Several witnesses who testified in the House impeachment inquiry this week chose to highlight their immigrant backgrounds, sharing their families’ stories in highly personal opening statements. They drew a connection to how those experiences led them to public service and a strong desire to safeguard U.S. national security.

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On Day 5 of the House impeachment hearings , Fiona Hill, a former Russia expert for the National Security Council, and David Holmes, political counselor at U.S. embassy in Ukraine, testify before lawmakers following a day of explosive testimony on Wednesday.

Impeachment hearing takeaways: A ‘fictional narrative’. Associated Press. Hill, a British-born immigrant , said Trump allies who have suggested her NSC colleague Lt. He has steadfastly maintained his loyalty is to the United States. “This is a country of immigrants ,” Hill reminded

Their stories offered a sharp counterpoint to President Donald Trump, who has often derided immigrants as a threat to American national security.

“I can say with confidence that this country has offered for me opportunities I never would have had in England,” former National Security Council official Fiona Hill testified Thursday. She spoke in what she called a “very distinctive working-class” British accent that would have impeded her professional advancement at home, but that “never set me back in America.”

On Tuesday, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, an Army officer who works with the National Security Council, testified that his family fled to the U.S. from the Soviet Union when he was 3. He said in his opening statement that he and his brothers felt compelled to serve in the military to repay the country that had offered them refuge from authoritarian oppression.

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Impeachment hearing takeaways: A ‘fictional narrative’. Associated Press. Hill, a British-born immigrant , said Trump allies who have suggested her National Security Council colleague Lt. “This is a country of immigrants ,” Hill reminded lawmakers. “This is what, for me, really does make

Continue reading the main story . In the morning, impeachment investigators held a joint hearing with Lt. What were the highlights ? Colonel Vindman said he believed that Mr. Trump’s request for Ukraine to open investigations into his political rivals should be viewed as demands, and that they

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This is the Impeachment Briefing, The Times’s newsletter about the impeachment investigation. What were the highlights ? “I know that members of this committee have frequently framed these If you want to go deeper, here’s our full story on the day’s events, the scene inside the hearing room

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“In Russia, my act of expressing concern to the chain of command in an official and private channel would have severe personal and professional repercussions, and offering public testimony involving the president would surely cost me my life,” he told the committee. He expressed gratitude for his “father's brave act of hope 40 years ago and for the privilege of being an American citizen and public servant, where I can live free, free of fear for mine and my family's safety.”

“Dad, I am sitting here today in the U.S. Capitol, talking to our elected professionals. Talking to our elected professionals is proof that you made the right decision 40 years ago,” he added, assuring his father: “Do not worry. I will be fine.”

It was a similar story for Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine, who immigrated to the U.S. at age 3 from Canada. Her father had fled the Soviets, while her mother had grown up in Nazi Germany.

“Their personal histories, my personal history gave me both deep gratitude towards the United States and great empathy for others like the Ukrainian people who want to be free,” she told lawmakers, explaining that she joined the foreign service with “no agenda other than to pursue our stated foreign policy goals.”

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“My service is an expression of gratitude for all that this country has given to me and to my family,” she said.

Another witness, Gordon Sondland, the president’s ambassador to the European Union, described at one point how his parents had fled Europe during the Holocaust, first moving to Uruguay and then settling in Seattle.

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“Like so many immigrants, my family was eager for freedom and hungry for opportunity,” he said.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said after listening to Hill’s opening statement that her story about fulfilling her father’s dream of one day moving to America reminded him of Vindman’s.

“The few immigrant stories that we have heard just in the course of these hearings are among the most powerful I think I’ve ever heard,” Schiff said Thursday. “You and Colonel Vindman and others are the best of this country and you came here by choice. And we are so blessed that you did, so welcome.”

Yet those immigrant roots also opened several witnesses to criticism. Republican members, for instance, raised the fact that Vindman, who appeared in his uniform, had been repeatedly offered the position of defense minister by the government of Ukraine. He reported the offers to his superiors and quickly dismissed them.

“I guess Mr. Castor is implying maybe you have got some dual loyalty, which is, of course, an old smear we have heard many times in our history,” Rep. Sean Maloney, D-N.Y. said at one point, referring to Steve Castor, the committee’s Republican attorney.

Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., said the line of questioning “may have come cloaked in a Brooks Brothers suit and in parliamentary language,” but was “designed exclusively to give the right-wing media an opening to question your loyalties.”

Hill was also asked about the attacks on Vindman and suggestions of dual loyalty.

“I think it’s very unfortunate,” she said, describing the country’s immigrant history as “the essence of America.”

With the exception of very few, she added: “Everyone immigrated to the United States at some time in their family history. And this is what, for me, really does make America great.”

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In an interview with radio talk show host John Catsimatidis, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) said that Democrats are "spun up" after her performance during the public impeachment hearings. © The Hill Stefanik: The left is 'spun up' after her impeachment hearing performance "I was focused on the facts and the substance in my questions of witnesses as part of these impeachment hearings," the House Intelligence Committee member told Catsimatidis. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

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