Tillis’ resolution regarding global child abductions passes Senate

A bipartisan resolution sponsored by U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) designating April 2019 as Countering International Parental Child Abduction month received U.S. Senate approval on April 11.

“The federal government has tools to prevent the abduction and secure the return of our citizen-children but has consistently failed to use them,” Sen. Tillis said on April 12. “I hope the passage of 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.”

Sen. Tillis on Jan. 17 introduced Senate Resolution 23 with 12 cosponsors, including lead cosponsor U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), to educate state and local law enforcement about the issue and how to combat it.

From 2008 to 2015 more than 9,000 American children were taken abroad by a parent who most often wants to obstruct the custody rights of a former spouse, said Sen. Tillis’ office, citing information from the U.S. State Department.

Sen. Tillis also this month again requested that State Department Secretary Mike Pompeo address international parental child abductions.

“We believe the State Department is consistently failing to use all of its legal tools and authorities to secure the return of American children,” Sens. Tillis and Feinstein wrote in an April 8 letter to the secretary. “This appears to be specifically true in the case of international child abductions to India. We believe our government can, and in fact must, do more to secure the return of American children from India.”

The lawmakers also noted that the “depth and breadth of India’s noncompliance – which has been an issue since at least 2014 – is simply unacceptable.”