McALLEN, Texas — Several different groups of lawmakers are traveling to South Texas today — including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer — to meet with federal immigration officials and locals as the surge of migrants on the Southwest border continues to rise and as the Trump Administration pushes tougher policies to keep migrants from seeking asylum in the United States.
U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, will be the first to host a roundtable discussion today at 1:30 p.m. at the Humanitarian Respite Center, which is run by Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in downtown McAllen. The center has been taking in on average 500 migrants daily and recently relocated to what used to be a nightclub just across the street from the bus station where Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents drop off migrants who have been processed through detention facilities.
Cuellar, who is vice chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, told Border Report earlier this week that he is hosting representatives from several local nonprofit organizations and municipalities to advise them on how to apply for federal reimbursement money for humanitarian care of migrants.
In a statement issued Thursday, he said that the FY19 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill, which was signed into law earlier this summer, includes $30 million in funding that he helped secure “for direct reimbursements for local governments and NGOs who have incurred massive costs for providing humanitarian relief for children and families seeking asylum at the border.”
Immediately following that, Sen. Schumer is expected to tour the respite facility at 3:30 p.m.
Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the RGV is no stranger to hosting lawmakers. She has given House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi a tour of her facility, and has reported to the United Nations, the White House and the Pope on the goings on in South Texas.
Friday evening, a delegation of up to 11 other congressmen from several different states are expected to meet with federal immigration officials in McAllen.
Contact Sandra Sanchez at SSanchez@BorderReport.com.