Just the Facts
Five Facts on the new developments since the passage of the humanitarian package for the border
By No Labels
July 16, 2019 | Blog
Since the passage of the emergency funding bill that provided aid to the border, there have been new developments on border protection, ICE, and the need for more aid. These are the facts.
Anger among House Democrats has been heightened by the revelation of a private Facebook group of Customs and Border Patrol officers (CBP) and a troubling Department of Homeland Security report on border conditions.
Reports of a private Facebook group emerged stating that CBP officials knew about a group where agents posted derogatory comments about migrants and Democratic lawmakers. The failure of CBP to act on knowledge of the Facebook page angered several lawmakers –especially those subject to attacks on the page. In addition, several Democratic lawmakers visited detention facilities after a DHS report described dangerous overcrowding creating an immediate health and safety risk to detained migrants. As a result of the Facebook page and the DHS report, House Democrats called for an investigation into CBP practices and leadership.
House Democrats want to explicitly address the humanitarian crisis at the border with further legislation.
Progressive representatives claim that the $4.6 billion emergency legislation passed in late June did not include standards of care for migrants in custody, and does not sufficiently address the problem. The emergency legislation did not include specific protections such as mandatory medical care, stay limits, and increased training for ICE.
The emergency funding bill provides resources through September 30, 2019. The chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus wants to begin negotiations on border funding for the following fiscal year.
Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) called for Congress to address a bill authorizing next year’s Department of Homeland Security spending. He wants to address the standards of care for migrants in custody that were left out of the emergency funding bill. Leaders want to address the 2020 DHS funding bill early to avoid having to make last-minute concessions against a deadline. The bill is currently not on the legislative agenda for July.
Additional legislation is in consideration to add funding conditions left out of the emergency funding bill.
Conditions removed from the emergency bill included health and safety standards for migrants in Customs and Border Patrol Custody, protocols for dealing with migrant surges, limits on children’s stays in shelters, and restrictions on contractors who do not provide adequate levels of care.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, expressed support for legislation sponsored by various liberal Democrats to ease tensions caused by the funding bill.
Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-TX, sponsors legislation to supplement training for ICE officials. Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-CA, sponsors legislation to outline explicit standards of care for detained migrants. Other legislation includes implementing a program to coordinate various agencies involved in processing and caring for migrants as their cases are adjudicated.