May 22, 2019

Congressmen Luján and Biggs Recognize National Missing Children’s Day

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Andy Biggs (R-AZ) and U.S. Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) introduced H. Res. 394 – Recognizing the 36th Anniversary of National Missing Children’s Day, which falls on May 25. This resolution comes just after the one-year anniversary of the Ashlynne Mike AMBER Alert in Indian Country Act being signed into law. This legislation was championed by the late Senator John McCain and Representatives Biggs and Luján. Congressman Biggs, Assistant Speaker Luján, Pamela Foster, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, John Clark, President and CEO of National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and Jim Walters – Program Administrator, Amber Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program, released the following statements:

“As a parent, it is difficult to imagine the heartbreak of a missing child.  I’ve talked to many parents of missing children, including Pamela Foster, the mother of Ashlynne Mike, and I realize the pain they experience through the loss of their children. It is my hope that we can find hope in these tragedies by raising awareness of National Missing Children’s Day to help reduce the number of children that go missing. I’m thankful for the law enforcement officials who work tirelessly to recover each missing child across the nation.” Congressman Andy Biggs (AZ-05)

The thought of losing a child is unconscionable – and something that no parent should face. For Pamela Foster, the mother of Ashlynne Mike, this horrifying thought became a painful reality. On the 36th anniversary of National Missing Children’s Day, we must continue our efforts to protect our young ones from violence and exploitation. There are concrete steps we can take to prevent future tragedies, including expanding broadband access, ensuring AMBER Alert technology is always available to be utilized, and providing resources to law enforcement officials who are on the front lines. This is important work I’m proud to partner with Congressman Biggs, Pamela Foster, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and all advocates for missing, abused, exploited, and abducted children on.” – Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (NM-03)

“This is the week that we remember our Missing, Abducted and Exploited Children and all of those who work so hard to bring them home to their families. Two of the people who have done so much for our children is Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona and Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico. Their strong advocacy helped create bipartisan support that made the Ashlynne Mike AMBER Alert in Indian County Act a reality. In the year that has passed since the President signed this bill into law, much has been done to bring AMBER Alert to Indian Country. Representative Biggs’ own State of Arizona has been at the forefront of working with tribes to provide access to the State AMBER plan and to collaborate on protecting children. Thank you so much for all you have done for our children. It is leaders like Congressman Biggs and Congressman Luján, who are so important to this effort.” – Pamela Foster, mother of Ashlynne Mike

“The passage of the ‘Ashlynne Mike AMBER Alert in Indian Country Act’ one year ago with Senator McCain's and Congressman Biggs' leadership closed a loophole that impeded Arizona law enforcement's ability to safeguard children no matter where an abduction may have taken place. It is appropriate on this 36th anniversary of National Missing Children's Day to recognize the progress made to protect children and rededicate our efforts to prevent harm to the most innocent and defenseless among us.” – Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery

“The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) joins Representative Andy Biggs and Representative Ben Ray Luján in recognizing the 36th anniversary of National Missing Children’s Day.  At NCMEC, we work every day to help assist in the recovery of missing children. Last year, we were proud to support Congressman Biggs’ legislation, the Ashlynne Mike AMBER Alert in Indian Country Act, which helps improve and lead to the expansion of the AMBER Alert system on Native American reservations. This year, NCMEC is marking 35 years of fulfilling its mission to prevent child abductions, recover missing children, and combat child sexual exploitation. We thank Congressman Biggs and Congressman Luján for introducing this resolution.”John F. Clark, President and CEO, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

On the anniversary of the passing of the Ashlynne Mike AMBER Alert in Indian Country Act, we are reminded of the importance of this legislation and the leadership provided by members of Congress in addressing an issue that is literally a matter of life and death to children who live in America's tribal communities. This law has already shown results; tribes and states are working together to integrate AMBER Alert plans and to improve the way we respond to missing and abducted children in Indian Country. Arizona was the first state to convene a meeting of federally recognized tribes, State AMBER Alert and public safety officials and others to provide tribal communities access to the State AMBER Alert plan. The state continues to lead the way with the State AMBER Alert Coordinator working closely with Arizona's tribal communities. There is still much to be done, but we now have a path to fulfilling our responsibilities to better protect America's Native children.”Jim Walters, Program Administrator, Amber Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program

Press Contact

Lauren French (202) 225-6190