Dear Colleague on Action on Border Conditions & Census
July 8, 2019
Dear Democratic Colleague,
As we return from our Fourth of July observances, we must also observe the challenges our country faces: the challenge of the horrible conditions children endure at the border and the challenge to an accurate count in the Census by the Trump Administration.
Whether or not the President responds to our request to improve medical care standards for the health and safety of children, and while Senator McConnell still refuses to help the children suffering in these deplorable conditions, we must lead a Battle Cry across America to protect the children.
Legislation is necessary, and Members visiting the border have made several suggestions as we move forward:
- Accountability: legislation introduced by Congresswoman Veronica Escobar to bring more accountability to the Department of Homeland Security through stepped up community engagement, best practices training for CBP and ICE officers to foster more professional conduct and fairer border enforcement, and a ban on the separation of families, except when it’s in the best interest of the child;
- Medical Care Standards: medical care standards legislation led by Congressman Raul Ruiz to ensure the health and safety of children and adults in custody;
- Timing: reporting the death of a child in custody within 24 hours and no advance notice required for Member visits to facilities;
- Influx Facilities: a limit of 90 days for any unaccompanied child to spend at an influx facility and replacement of contractors not meeting influx facility standards of care;
- Compassionate Processing of Children & Families: a multi-agency, integrated, migrant processing center pilot program for families and unaccompanied children.
Our fight for a fair Census also continues. It is essential to who we are as a nation and how we meet the needs of the American people. Before the break, the Oversight Committee voted on a bipartisan basis to hold the Attorney General and the Secretary of Commerce in contempt of Congress for defying the Committee’s bipartisan subpoenas for documents that would shed light on the real reason the Administration added a citizenship question. We will be moving forward in the whole House soon.
In both the case of the Census and the abhorrent conditions for children and families at the border, we must hold the Trump Administration and the GOP accountable. We return to Washington to fight For The People.
P.S. Happily, by popular demand on both sides of the aisle, we have invited the players of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team to the Capitol – either as a team or individually – to celebrate their inspiring victory.