‘As we pass the Senate bill, we will do so with a battle cry as to how we go forward to protect children…’
(AFP) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday bowed to pressure from President Donald Trump’s Republicans as Congress approved $4.6 billion in emergency aid to ease a swelling migrant crisis on the nation’s southern border.
One day after the Senate passed the administration-backed measure, the House of Representatives followed suit with a bipartisan vote of 305 to 102 that sends the bill to the president’s desk.
The emergency money would provide a much-needed financial injection to facilities along the U.S.–Mexico border, amid a growing crisis that has seen migrant children housed in squalid conditions, sometimes with no soap, toothpaste or showers, little adult supervision and insufficient food.
However, the massive infusion of tax dollars to provide comfort to the illegals crossing the border in detention and help alleviate some the asylum process does not provide for additional security to deter or prevent the influx from continuing.
The measure funds agencies like the Department of Homeland Security and the Health and Human Services Department, which have been overwhelmed by an influx of migrants, mostly from Central America, arriving at the southern border.
It also stipulates that the money may not be used for purposes other than those to which it was allocated.
The two political parties had been battling over border funding for months.
In the most recent squabble, Pelosi and Democrats sought additional language that they claimed would ensure better protections of migrant children and place additional restrictions on the funding in a bid to keep the Trump administration in check.
But she conceded to Republicans when her caucus failed to move the needle.
“The children come first. At the end of the day, we have to make sure that the resources needed to protect the children are available,” Pelosi said in a statement to Democrats before the vote.
“As we pass the Senate bill, we will do so with a battle cry as to how we go forward to protect children in a way that truly honors their dignity and worth.”
Republicans insisted that the measure include tens of millions of dollars in overtime pay and other wages to personnel at the border, authority to deploy military personnel there, and authority to investigate human trafficking.
“Common sense prevailed over partisanship in Congress today,” top House Republican Kevin McCarthy said, as he demanded the two parties now come together to “fix our broken immigration system.”
The strain on the border mushroomed into a crisis in recent weeks as migration numbers surged.
Meanwhile, open-border advocates on the Left continued in their effort to sway public sentiment through emotional manipulation, disseminating widely in the media a photograph of a father and daughter who drowned while trying to cross the Rio Grande.
Illegal immigration opponents contended that the photo proved their point about the dangers that migrants faced in trying to enter the country through illegal and unsafe means—something that left-wing activists have openly encouraged while Democratic politicians have tacitly demurred in any effort to fix the country’s rampant asylum abuse.
Ninety-five Democrats opposed the bill, including Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, who argued that the Senate-crafted measure does not contain “sufficient guardrails” for improving care, and allows the Pentagon to build tent camps for migrant children on military sites.
It also “continues to provide more funding for the deportation forces of the Immigration & Customs Enforcement agency and allows a lawless administration to evade basic standards of care for children,” she said.
Liberty Headlines’ Ben Sellers contributed to this report.
© Agence France-Presse