Rep. Phillips Statement On Emergency Aid Package To Address Humanitarian Crisis At The Border
Washington, DC, June 28, 2019
Rep. Dean Phillips (MN-03) released the following statement today after the House passed emergency funding to address the humanitarian crisis at the border:
“Earlier this month, I visited the border at McAllen, TX and saw the humanitarian crisis there in person. I saw children and families kept in overcrowded cages and sleeping on the floor. I saw mothers with infants sitting on concrete in 107 degree heat. I saw limited access to restrooms, and kids without blankets or toothbrushes. Even worse, our Administration is arguing in court to keep it that way. With such ineffective and failed leadership, it falls on Congress to act.
Since I returned from the border, I have spent every day working to inspire colleagues on both sides of the aisle to take action and provide aid to these suffering children. Today, Congress did just that. This is an urgent crisis and the funding bill that passed today was the quickest and best way to make sure these children get relief.
I voted for and preferred the original House version of the bill. But there was a strong bipartisan deal made in the Senate with strong concessions from the Republican side. Like most deals, it was not perfect, but we were sent here to put partisanship aside and answer the call to get things done when there is a crisis of this magnitude.
There are many reasons for the conditions at Customs and Border Patrol facilities – but the biggest is a lack of resources. The agencies at the border have run out of funding and they need more. The facilities were not built to handle the number of migrants crossing our border fleeing violence and instability in their home countries. Any delay in action is irresponsible and would lead to more children suffering. The bill that the House originally planned to vote on today was dead on arrival in the Senate. We do not have time to spin our wheels for another day, another week, another month. Partisanship can wait. These children cannot. That’s why I supported a vote on the Senate’s bipartisan funding package today. Congress has oversight of this funding – the package spells out exactly how the funding to ICE is to be used – and we will make sure relief is provided where it is so desperately needed.”