House Democrats blinked Sunday, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi announcing they will vote this week to grant at least part of President Trump’s emergency border funding to deal with the humanitarian crisis.
Mrs. Pelosi, in announcing the looming vote, did swipe at Mr. Trump, saying he’s made the border situation worse.
But she said her chamber will approve legislation to provide assistance for children who are crowded at border facilities because there’s no space left to hold them anywhere else, and for families who are also coming in at rates too fast for the Border Patrol to even process them.
“This legislation provides urgently-needed humanitarian assistance for families, including funding for food, shelter, clothing, medical care and legal assistance, and will relieve the horrific situation of over-crowding and help prevent additional deaths,” the California Democrat said.
She said the bill will also include money for communities that have faced a surge of people being released within their own borders thanks to U.S. immigration policies that make it nearly impossible to deport them quickly.
Mrs. Pelosi insisted the money would not be available for “the administration’s failed mass detention policy.”
House Democrats are playing catch-up.
Under prodding from Republican leaders, the Senate Appropriations Committee last week approved a $4.6 billion bill to speed money to ease the overcrowding and to provide more bed space for the illegal immigration children.
That bill cleared committee on a near-unanimous vote, and faces Senate floor action this week.
For months, as Mr. Trump had demanded funding for his border wall, Democrats had resisted labeling the border situation a “crisis.” Some called it a “manufactured” one.
But the numbers are too stark to ignore.
More than 140,000 illegal immigrants were snared at the border in May alone — and the vast majority were families and children, setting an all-time record.
Under current policies, they must be quickly released.
But they’re coming in numbers so great that Border Patrol agents couldn’t process them quickly enough for release, fueling the overcrowding.
At one point facilities built to hold perhaps 4,000 migrants along the southwest border were holding 19,000. That number stood at about 15,000 last week, according to Homeland Security officials.
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