Congressman Christopher Smith, recipient of Spirit of Liberty Award at BPSOS Gala

 

First elected to Congress at the age of 27, Congressman Chris Smith has earned the reputation as a courageous advocate for the people, the go-to-guy, and a “bulldog” in seeing a cause through.

According to the congressional watchdog organization, GovTrack.us, which monitors lawmaking performance over the past two decades, Congressman Smith ranks second out of all 435 members of the House of Representatives in authoring bills that have been successfully enacted into law, a clear indication of Congressman Smith’s legislative skill and ability to get things done.

As the leader of key international relations panels and subcommittees, he has been at the forefront of our nation's foreign policy battles for almost 30 years, including efforts to promote human rights and democracy, enhance national security, combat global terrorism, and stop the evils of slavery and anti-Semitism once and for all. In early 2010, the Times of Trenton saluted Congressman Smith noting his “hands-on advocacy” in consistently helping US citizens forced to negotiate a thicket of international laws and said Congressman Smith “has championed the rights of individuals caught in a vortex of foreign laws and lawlessness.”

Congressman Smith is best known among Vietnamese Americans for his successful effort to stop the forced repatriation of tens of thousand Vietnamese boat people in 1995—his legislative initiative led to the creation of the Resettlement Opportunity for Vietnamese Returnees (ROVR), which has resettled of over 18,000 former boat people after their repatriation to Vietnam. This program was later extended to resettle close to 2,000 former boat people stranded in the Philippines. For a decade and a half Congressman Smith has been a staunch champion for freedom and democracy in Vietnam.

Congressman Smith co-chairs the Vietnam Congressional Caucus.

 

 

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