Senators Lamar Alexander, Marsha Blackburn and David Perdue lauded the passage of a bill "to fund the needs of border patrol officials to address the ongoing humanitarian and security crisis at the southern border."
The bill passed the Senate 84-4, providing $4.59 billion in funds.
Senator Marsha Blackburn said, “The humanitarian crisis on the border has reached a critical breaking point.
It is about time that my colleagues across the aisle finally acknowledged the severity of this heartbreaking situation.
“When I visited the El Paso sector earlier this month, I was devastated to witness just how dire this situation has become. There are children suffering from horrific diseases, including tuberculosis and measles. Housing facilities are overwhelmed with migrant families in limbo between two countries. Border Patrol is begging Congress to provide them with the resources they need to ensure the safety of our citizens. It is my hope that this critical vote was just the first step we will take to address this urgent crisis and secure the sovereignty of our nation.”
Senator Lamar Alexander said, “President Trump is right to address the humanitarian crisis on the Southern border, and this is exactly the right way to go about doing it – identifying a problem and proposing a solution, then asking Congress for the funding. I’m glad the president and Congress are working together in a bipartisan way to address this crisis.
“The Senate today approved a $4.6 billion bipartisan bill, which included the president’s funding request to expand shelters, provide care for unaccompanied children and increase security along the border. The House of Representatives should take up this bipartisan bill, which is a significant response to a major national problem.”
The legislation, which Senator Alexander supported, will provide:
· $155 million for U.S. Marshals to house, transport and detain criminal migrants.
· $65 million for more immigration judge teams, which will expedite immigration court proceedings.
· Funding to reimburse and adequately pay homeland security officers at our borders.
· $2.9 billion dollars for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Unaccompanied Alien Children Program, which will expand shelter capacity and provide safe and appropriate care for migrant children in custody.
· $793 million to improve migrant care and efficiently process migrants in immigration facilities.
Senator David Perdue (R-GA) said, “We are facing a full-blown humanitarian crisis at our southern border. Last month, over 84,000 family units and 11,000 unaccompanied children were apprehended by border patrol agents. Our agents are doing everything in their power to care for the families and children, but they are completely overwhelmed.
"President Trump knows this will only continue to escalate unless we find a bipartisan solution immediately. Now, Congress has the opportunity to provide law enforcement officials with some of the resources they need to do their job and address this heartbreaking situation. The U.S. Senate’s bipartisan package will tak care of the immediate humanitarian needs, but much more needs to be done to close legal loopholes and secure our southern border.”