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Congresswoman Escobar Statement on Safe Migrant Releases in El Paso

Today, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) released the following statement after this week’s safe migrant releases in El Paso:

“The influx of migrants and subsequent over-crowding of migrant shelters in El Paso has been a long time coming. I applaud the City, County, and Office of Emergency Management for their efforts to mitigate the impact, such as the creation of an OEM Center for migrants, but we must continue to do more. 

Earlier today, I spoke with the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Alejandro Mayorkas, as I have several times over the last two years to convey our concerns and to ensure NGOs and our local governments are reimbursed by the federal government for stepping up to help arriving migrants. I’ve also been proud to host Sec. Mayorkas and other members of the Biden-Harris administration, including Vice President Harris and National Security Advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall, in El Paso to meet with stakeholders and see our infrastructure needs firsthand and discuss where our community needs the most recourses.

For 30 years, Congress has failed to act. The worsening impacts of climate change and the coronavirus pandemic have only exacerbated the number of migrants leaving their home countries. I cannot emphasize enough that the increased levels of migration are not a uniquely American problem; this is being felt across the entire Western hemisphere. 

That is why I worked with the former administration to create a civilian position for migrant processing, allowing tired and overworked Border Patrol Agents to get back to doing what we hired them for, protecting our borders. I am grateful to the Biden-Harris administration for their responsiveness and this administration's unprecedented amount of resources to address root causes. I am working with them now to establish a more humane and equitable asylum process through my legislation H.R. 5618, the Reimagining Asylum Processing Act, to create Humanitarian Processing Centers (HPCs) to provide orientation services on the asylum-seeking process and treat asylum seekers with the dignity they deserve.  I will continue to ensure NGOs and the City are reimbursed and coordinate local stakeholder meetings so that every level of government can work towards helping migrants fulfill the American Dream.”

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