On Thursday, in a rare act of bipartisanship, Reps. John Katko (R-NY) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX) introduced a bill that would demand that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) create a plan to deal with surges of illegal immigrants coming across the U.S. southern border.
The “Border Surge Response and Resilience Act” would also create an “irregular migration surge border response fund.”
The fund could be activated based on the situation at the border.
People can now see the full extent of the humanitarian crisis at our border. Facilities are overcrowded – at 17 times the COVID-19 capacity. The Biden Administration could have prevented this #BidenBorderCrisis.https://t.co/YkjLMF4j8x
Both lawmakers seemed hopeful that new legislation, if passed, would give a big boost to the Border Patrol, which is currently being stretched to the limits.
So much so, that the Associated Press has reported that some illegal immigrant families are being turned loose inside the U.S. without court dates, or even any paperwork at all.
In a statement, Katko said, “After hearing firsthand from border patrol agents, it’s clear they need interagency backup and accountability across the federal government to appropriately handle border surges.”
Rep. Cuellar also released a statement, “This bipartisan legislation will allow the federal government to employ a whole-of-government approach to create a response framework that anticipates migration surges, allowing them to quickly shift resources and take immediate action to mitigate a humanitarian crisis.”
Cuellar, a Democrat, has been one of the few in his party who has been outspoken about the situation at the border.
Cuellar has been less than pleased with the Biden Administration. He recently said that, “I sit on the Homeland Appropriations [Subcommittee]. I get more information from across the river than I do from my own government, which is amazing.”
In a video released on Wednesday by Customs and Border Protection, two toddlers, aged three and five, are dropped over a 14-foot high barrier by human smugglers. Border Patrol Agents found the girls, they were transported to a medical facility then a hospital as a precaution.
In yet another disturbing incident, smugglers threw a 6-month old baby girl into the Rio Grande river. The smugglers had assaulted the mother while the pair were still in Mexico.
The baby was pulled from the river and according to Newsweek, is “safe” with her mother in Border Patrol custody.
Mexican immigration authorities say they found a 4-year-old Honduran boy apparently wandering alone in an area near the Rio Grande. How he arrived there was not clear. He was placed in the custody of Mexican child welfare officials. https://t.co/3ePMh5ba4F
Last week, a delegation of U.S. Senators went to the border to see the situation for themselves. While the Biden administration was still attempting to block any photos or media coverage from getting out, the Senators talked about what they saw.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) described conditions as “inhumane.” Many members of the delegation talked about the extreme crowding in the midst of COVID-19 protocols.
Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) talked about a meeting between Border Agents and human smugglers across the Rio Grande from each other. The smugglers yelled and heckled the agents in Spanish, saying that no matter what they did, they would continue to cross the border.