$4.5 Billion Bill to Improve Conditions for Immigrants
On Tuesday, the House passed a $4.5 billion border funding bill in a 230-195 vote. The Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act would provide humanitarian aid to immigrants. Amendments to the bill include provisions requiring health standards for those in custody and ensuring translation services are available.
The bill includes more than $1 billion to house and feed those in custody and approximately $3 billion to care for unaccompanied children. However, the bill does not include funding for a border wall.
This bill comes as there has been increased national attention regarding the unsanitary conditions of those in custody at Border Patrol Stations. United States Customs and Border Patrol Chief Operating Officer John Sanders said that stations have been holding more than triple their maximum capacity. Dolly Lucio Servier, a private-practice physician, visited the largest Border Patrol facility in the country and reported that children were facing “extreme cold temperatures, lights on 24 hours a day, no adequate access to medical care, basic sanitation, water or adequate food.”
President Trump does not support the bill at this time and if it were to make it through the Senate, it could face a veto.
As this is happening, the Senate has its own version of an emergency border aid bill that it is advancing. The Senate’s version includes $2.88 billion for unaccompanied children and $50 million to make immigration courts more efficient.