Congressional Action to Address Border Crisis is a $4.5 Billion Exercise in Futility, Says FAIR
(June 26, 2019, Washington, D.C.) — The following statement was issued by Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), in response to Senate passage of a flawed supplemental appropriations bill that seeks to address the humanitarian and security crisis at the southern border:
“Today, the Senate overwhelmingly approved a $4.5 billion emergency funding bill to address the symptoms of the border crisis, and not one dime to prevent it from becoming even worse.
“After months of denying that a border crisis even exists, Democrats joined with Republicans to fund emergency humanitarian relief for the hundreds of thousands of people who are pouring across our southern border each month. Providing for the basic needs of the migrants – food, medical care, and temporary shelter – is essential. But even more essential is preventing hundreds of thousands more migrants from entering our country illegally under the guise of being asylum seekers.
“As woefully inadequate as the Senate bill is, it is an improvement over a similar bill approved by the House yesterday, which further sought to tie the hands of immigration law enforcement. Unfortunately, a deal must now be made between the two chambers in conference negotiations over the coming days. It is our hope that the final product will not contain any enforcement restrictions, which would undoubtedly worsen the crisis at the border.
“As the initial requester of emergency funding, President Trump is committed to providing migrants, particularly minors, welfare services and high-quality shelter care, in accordance with programmatic and legal requirements. But President Trump also requested funding for more border security personnel and infrastructure, as well as expanding detention capacity for migrants who can be detained for longer periods of time.
“Without funding for deterrence, as well as enacting separate legislation to close loopholes in our asylum laws and override judicially-imposed restrictions on detention of families, this week’s actions by Congress amount to a very expensive exercise in futility. If all we are doing is upgrading the care of migrants and getting them into the country faster, the $4.5 billion will quickly be exhausted. The promise of better temporary accommodations and quicker release will result in an even greater number of people showing up at the border.
“Polls show that the two most pressing issues on the minds of the American public are the crisis at the border and government dysfunction. In the span of just two days, Congress demonstrated why.”
Contact: Matthew Tragesser, 202-328-7004 or firstname.lastname@example.org