Congresswoman Veronica Escobar Statement in Response to Trump Administration’s Plans to Build Migrant Detention Facility at Contaminated Site in El Paso

November 22, 2019
Press Release

(El Paso, TX) – Today, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) issued the following statement after Earthjustice released hundreds of internal documents detailing the Trump administration’s plans to build a migrant detention facility at a contaminated site at the Fort Bliss Army Installation in El Paso:

“The information exposed by environmental groups is beyond disturbing and confirms the Trump administration’s lack of true leadership as well as its complete disregard for the safety and dignity of the human beings in their custody.

“We know that a community like El Paso – without the benefit of public resources or public land – has offered safe hospitality for thousands of refugees released into our community by ICE and CBP.  We did it without endangering them and treating them with the respect and dignity every human being deserves.

“It is this kind of inhumane strategy that created the humanitarian crises that will go down in history as the worst of our generation.”

In July, Congresswoman Escobar succeeded in adding an amendment to the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020 that ensures minimum safety standards are met in any housing provided to migrant children. This clarification specifically requires Congressional notification of known environmental hazards and actions taken to mitigate them and protected the full legal force of the Flores settlement agreement.