Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Texas Democrat calls for migrant ‘humanitarian centers,’ with limited CBP, ICE oversight

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A Texas Democrat is proposing that migrants trying to enter the U.S. from Mexico be placed in “humanitarian centers” rather than facilities run by federal immigration authorities.

U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, from the El Paso area, blasted the traditional federal approach of dealing with asylum-seekers as “costly and ineffective.” 

Her bill in Congress suggests that the migrants be assigned to facilities run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement and staff from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) – rather than sites run by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the report said.

“For decades, our nation’s response to increased migration has relied on militarizing border communities like El Paso instead of addressing root causes and improving the legal systems and regulations to which we subject asylum-seekers,” Escobar said, according to the news outlet.

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“This is unacceptable and must change,” she continued. “This legislation is one component of what needs to be a multi-faceted approach to ensuring we have a functioning immigration system, effective management at the southern border, and security without sacrificing our humanity as a nation.”

U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, is seen on Capitol Hill, July 24, 2019 in Washington.
(Associated Press)

The proposed humanitarian centers would offer legal services and other resources, plus medical screenings, interpreters and referrals to community programs, according to Border Report.

Escobar’s complete bill can be read by clicking here.

The congresswoman’s plan comes as Republicans in both the House and Senate are criticizing a proposed rule by the Biden administration that they claim would lead to further migrant surges at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The proposed rule would allow CIS officials at the border to decide asylum claims, bypassing the immigration courts within the Justice Department.

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In a public comment on the proposal, nearly 70 congressional Republicans objected to the plan, claiming it was an unconstitutional attempt to bypass asylum regulations that were passed by Congress.

“The proposed rule represents a blatant violation of the laws passed by Congress,” the Republicans wrote, led by Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Mike Lee, R-Utah; and Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz. “It ignores the mandatory detention requirements of aliens claiming asylum through mass parole, violates the principles of separation of powers and inappropriately shifts the roles of asylum screeners and immigration courts.”

Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this story.

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