Congresswoman Escobar Statement on Appropriations Committee’s Border Supplemental that Includes Reimbursements to El Paso Taxpayers and Non-Profits

June 21, 2019
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) issued the following statement after the House Appropriations Committee introduced a border supplemental package.

The package includes $60M for reimbursements to local communities, including El Paso taxpayers and nongovernmental organizations, for the humanitarian relief they provide to migrants, $200M to establish a pilot program that allows the integration of nonprofits into government facilities to assist with migrant services and processing, and over $100M for critical priorities including legal assistance and medical services. The supplemental also includes $9M to hire civilian personnel that will allow CBP Officers to return to their positions at the Ports of Entry:

“Since taking the oath of office, I have been working closely with local leaders and community advocates to ensure real steps are being taken in Congress to address El Paso’s needs during this challenging time.

“Although this legislation is not perfect, it includes critical funding to ensure El Paso taxpayers are reimbursed as they uphold our nation’s tradition of welcoming asylum-seeking families in pursuit of the American Dream, and establishes the support services necessary to ensure agents, officers, and migrants have access to improved conditions.

“I applaud the leadership of House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, and subcommittee Chairs Lucille Roybal-Allard, Jose Serrano, and Rosa DeLauro, and look forward to continuing to work with them on increasing accountability and oversight in our nation.”

On April 1, 2019, Congresswoman Escobar co-led a letter to the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee, requesting the that the subcommittee consider a funding increase to and improvements for the Legal Orientation Program (LOP), the Legal Orientation Program for Custodians of Unaccompanied Children (LOPC) and the Immigration Court Helpdesk program (ICH), specifically requiring expansion of the LOP program to all long-term immigration detention centers.

On April 9, 2019, Congresswoman Escobar testified before the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee requesting that the subcommittee consider allowing localities and NGOs reimbursements under Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and advocated for NGOs to be allowed into Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities to help connect migrants with their sponsors prior to their release.

On May 28, 2019, Congresswoman Escobar co-led a letter with Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) and Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small (NM-02) to Appropriations Committee leaders, urging them to allow Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds, State and Local Programs, to reimburse local governments and NGOs that acquired costs providing humanitarian relief at our southern border.