RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – Local elected leaders, state agencies, and immigration attorneys were scheduled to testify at a special joint committee hearing on border issues.
Border communities say they have seen how Border Patrol is not equipped to handle the humanitarian side of the migrant surge.
State and local resources are spread thin to provide these services without additional help from the federal government.
This is on top of the state setting aside funding to help with border security.
Legislators and attorneys say it’s time for the federal government to step up.
“I think we need to file a lawsuit. I think somebody needs to get going with a lawsuit because at this point it’s not just us spending 800 million or a billion or whatever every two years, it goes beyond that,” says Representative Richard Peña Raymond.
“What can we demand of the government, accountability on some level, there’s zero accountability on Customs and Border Patrol on the way in which they treat people, there’s very little accountability on ICE on the way in which they hold people,” Says Karla Varga of the Texas Civil Rights Project.
Attorneys say they’ve spoken with children who’ve been held in CBP processing facilities for weeks. Federal law states children can only be in these facilities for up to 72 hours.