Congressional Delegation Addresses the Southern Border Crisis

El Paso, TX—Representatives Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; Jerrold Nadler, Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary; Zoe Lofgren, Chairwoman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship; Pramila Jayapal, Vice-Chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship; and Adriano Espaillat, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, this weekend traveled to the southern border as part of a delegation to examine the root causes of migration. The members toured detention facilities in El Paso, where last week reports showed people being held in overcrowded conditions under a bridge.

Chairmen Engel and Nadler said, “We are facing a true humanitarian crisis at our southern border. Border Patrol agents are doing what they can, but the facilities and conditions are inadequate and unacceptable. These asylum seekers are fleeing dire situations in their home countries. It is clear to us that the Trump Administration’s attempts to cut off the very assistance to address the problems Central America will make this situation even worse.”

“It’s folly to think we can effectively deal with migration from Central America fueled by fear and privation at our Southern border. We need an effective strategy and I will be introducing legislation, along with colleagues, to do just that. The bill will not only provide much needed resources to address the root causes of migration in Central America but will also address how asylum seekers navigate our complex immigration system,” said Rep. Lofgren.

“Oversight from Congress is absolutely essential. After holding families and children in an outdoor location under a bridge for several days in El Paso, DHS had just transferred those individuals into a real facility hours before our visit.  We cannot detain our way out of a crisis created in part by an Administration that has continued to implement increasingly cruel policies at our border.  We must address the root causes of migration in the sending countries, end metering policies, protect the rights of asylum seekers, and implement humane and proven solutions like alternatives to detention,” said Rep. Jayapal.

“There is without question a humanitarian crisis on our Southern border. However, packing children and families into overcrowded tiny cells is not the answer. When people are fleeing for their lives there is no deference policy solution. Instead, we need to address root causes in the home countries. Unfortunately the Trump Administration attempt to end aid to Central America will only make things worse,” said Rep. Espaillat.

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