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As Congress debates the responsible way forward to address the humanitarian and refugee crisis that the Trump Administration’s failed vision has created, the following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, assessing the latest:
President Trump thinks cruelty will deter refugees fleeing for their lives and families – it hasn’t and it won’t. The failure and cruelty of Trump’s ongoing deterrence-only approach is exacting a terrible toll on kids and families seeking safety and has created a human rights scandal of historic proportions.
We need to responsibly address the humanitarian and refugee crisis that Trump Administration policies have sparked and recognize that it’s unconscionable that he is using this crisis as hostage to try and advance additional deterrence-only policies that are doomed to fail and harm more kids and families. Unfortunately, his veto threat, embrace of hardline policies, and unreliable approach to negotiation mean that he may be setting up a blame game rather than a responsible way forward to address the crisis.
We thought the comments of Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX), as quoted by the New York Times, captured the dynamics well:
Several members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus are pushing to attach stricter conditions to the money, including higher humanitarian standards for facilities that hold migrant children.
But given the urgent nature of the situation facing migrants, some lawmakers, particularly those from districts on the border, said there was no time to hold out for such additions.
‘Are there things I would like to change? Absolutely,’ said Representative Veronica Escobar, Democrat of Texas, whose El Paso district abuts the border. ‘But we have a real crisis.’
She said Democrats were trying to advance ‘a bill that reflects more of our values,’ but added: ‘We’re running out of time. We all saw what happened in Clint — there’s no time.’