Washington — The Senate has approved bipartisan legislation providing $4.6 billion to care for thousands of migrants streaming into the U.S. across the Mexican border.
The measure resembles a package Democrats already pushed through the House with scant Republican support. The House bill has more constraints than the Senate version on how the Trump administration would use the money, leaving the next step unclear.
Congressional leaders hope to send President Donald Trump a compromise measure before lawmakers leave town for a July 4 recess. A startling photo of the corpses of two migrants and revelations of horrid conditions for children detained by U.S. authorities have put pressure on Congress to improve migrants’ conditions.
U.S. Senator Deb Fischer offered this statement after the Senate passed the spending measure:
“Today the Senate took action to help address the emergency at our southern border. This package will improve care for unaccompanied children and assist in expanding the crowded shelter facilities. I urge the House to quickly pass this bill so we can provide these desperately needed resources to stabilize this crisis.”
U.S. Senator Ben Sasse had this to stay about the border aid bill:
“We’ve got two responsibilities at the border: First, we need to detain people long enough to separate legitimate asylum seekers from drug runners, human traffickers, and illegal immigrants; second, we have a moral obligation to treat these people, especially children and their families, humanely. This legislation isn’t perfect and we still need long-term legislation to end the bad policy of catch-and-release, but it funds more immigration judges to make sure cases are heard faster and it sends resources to law enforcement and public health officials at the border to deal with the humanitarian crisis. If politicians keep playing games, these agencies will run out of money soon and the heartbreaking conditions at overcrowded facilities are going to get much worse. Congress needs to send this bill to the President’s desk immediately.”