Texas Border Business
LAREDO, Texas – The Texas Border Coalition (TBC) today praised preliminary passage of a much-needed supplemental funding bill to help care for migrant refugees and improved U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities.
The legislation, which passed the U.S. Senate Appropriation Committee and now heads to the Senate floor, includes $30 million for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program Board to reimburse local jurisdictions and recipient organizations for services provided to a significant influx of aliens.
The bill funds 30 new immigration judges but no new Immigration and Customs Enforcement beds. Furthermore, the measure prohibits the transfer of information about unaccompanied minors and forbids any transfers among accounts for border wall construction.
“We are grateful to U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar for their bipartisan leadership on behalf of border communities in helping to craft this legislation,” Laredo Mayor and TBC Chairman Pete Saenz said. “We need to restore alternatives to detention for asylum seekers with an emphasis on methods that have drastically reduced flight risk. We need to double the number of immigration judges and provide the necessary procedures, resources, and infrastructure to quickly process asylum claims.”
Under the Senate bill, the money would be made available 30 days after enactment.
Appropriators in the U.S. House of Representatives are expected to vote on their own version of the measure early next week.