Congress goes on vacation as border crisis continues
Sat, 02 Aug 2014 03:00:49 GMT —
Local taxpayers will have to continue funding the humanitarian effort in the Rio Grande Valley as Congress is heading home without appropriating emergency funds.
Since the border crisis became the dominate summer news story, city and county governments have been clear, they want Washington to pay for the humanitarian crisis along the south Texas border.
"McAllen is happy to do this effort and will continue to do so, but I don TMt think it TMs fair to our local taxpayers to bear that burden," McAllen mayor Jim Darling said last month.
Although U.S. Senator John Cornyn and Congressman Henry Cuellar scrambled to get those funds moved to the border, Congress is leaving Washington for summer vacation - without responding to what many of them continue to call a crisis.
"It TMs definitely a political battle right now," spokesman for immigration advocacy group La Union Pueblo Entero (LUPE) John-Michael Torres said.
Friday afternoon, an emergency border bill lingered but it TMs doubtful it will pass.
For now -- city and county leaders have vowed to continue their humanitarian efforts and law enforcement officials say it will not impact the security of the community.
"We will continue to surge our operations, in fact what we are seeing is a reduction in crime. More vehicles, more officers are having an impact in crime in those particular areas, Hidalgo County Sheriff TMs Commander Joel Rivera said.
But not everyone in the Rio Grande Valley is disappointed that the bill did not get a vote.
Immigration advocate group LUPE does support reimbursement to valley governments, but continues to fight against the passing of the Humane Act.
"The Humane Act would basically turn the due process these children have on its head, Torres said. It would put a lot of power in the hands of Border Patrol to screen them for the possibility to get protection for human trafficking and extreme violence."
The fight isn't over and neither side is giving up.
We have to be ready for once the session comes back in a month from now and be ready to push back against it again, Torres said.