NEW YORK, NY – On Saturday, May 9, 2015, U.S Representative Ted Poe (R-TX) was among the ninety honorees who received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor from the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations-NECO. The list of honorees included: Talk Show Host Meredith Vieira, New York Yankees legend Mariano Rivera, twelve members of the U.S. Military and Washington, D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier.

Texas Congressman Ted Poe is a leading advocate in Washington for limited government, free markets, low taxes and individual liberty. Prior to serving in Congress, Ted Poe served for 22 years as a criminal court judge in Houston where he garnered national media attention for his innovative sentences – dubbed “Poetic Justice.” Prior to that, he served for 8 years in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, where he became the chief felony prosecutor and never lost a jury trial.

Congressman Ted Poe serves on the House Judiciary Committee, and the Foreign Affairs Committee as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade. An outspoken advocate on border security, he travels regularly to the southern border to meet directly with local law enforcement and residents. He also often visits our troops in Afghanistan and around the world. Congressman Ted Poe established the bipartisan Victims’ Rights Caucus (VRC) to advocate on behalf of victims in our nation’s capital. A strong constitutionalist, Congressman Poe stands firmly in the belief of “we the people” not “we the subjects.”

Chairman of NECO Nasser J. Kazeminy states, “NECO seeks to inspire America to embrace diversity, tolerance and respect for all of its citizens by celebrating those who have given so much of themselves to the betterment of our nation and our world. Each of these honorees represents traits that I admire in great Americans: the vision of a better world for all, the tenacity to overcome challenges, and the leadership and imagination to blaze their own trail. And most importantly, they have the humility and self-reflection to appreciate the amazing opportunities that America has given them. They inspire me and we honor them so they can inspire others as well.”

 The Ellis Island Medals of Honor embody the spirit of America in their celebration of patriotism, tolerance, brotherhood and diversity. We recognize individuals who have made it their mission to share with those less fortunate their wealth of knowledge, indomitable courage, boundless compassion, unique talents and selfless generosity; all while maintaining the traditions of their ethnic heritage as they uphold the ideals and spirit of America.

As always, NECO remains dedicated to the maintenance and restoration of America’s greatest symbol of its immigrant history, Ellis Island. Since the Medal was founded in 1986, we have honored such distinguished and diverse Americans including: six Presidents of the United States; Nobel Prize recipient Elie Wiesel, Generals Norman Schwarzkopf and Colin Powell, Hon. Hillary Clinton, Sen. John McCain, Muhammad Ali, Frank Sinatra, Barbara Walters, Mike Wallace, Quincy Jones and Mia Farrow, all who have distinguished themselves through their significant contributions to this country.

The Ellis Island Medal of Honor ranks among the nation’s most prestigious awards. The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have officially recognized the Ellis Island Medals of Honor, and each year the recipients are listed in the Congressional Record.

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