Ted Cruz Urges DHS to Aid Texas Border Communities in Migrant Crisis

Migrants, mostly from Central America, board a van which will take them to a processing center, on May 16, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. - About 1,100 migrants from Central America and other countries are crossing into the El Paso border sector each day. US Customs and Border Protection Public …
PAUL RATJE/AFP/Getty

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) will send a letter Tuesday to Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kevin McAleenan, urging him to help alleviate the migrant crisis in Texas border communities.

Sen. Cruz will urge McAleenan to help communities struggling due to the migrant crisis at America’s southern border.

As Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) apprehensions along the southern border have risen nearly 300 percent from May 2018, Sen. Cruz urged DHS Secretary McAleenan to provide additional support for the border communities struggling with the flood of migrants on the southern border. Cruz emphasized two-thirds of apprehensions occur along the Rio Grande Valley, El Paso, and Del Rio border regions.

Sen. Cruz said in a letter to McAleenan that DHS and the federal government could help local districts mitigate the enormous strain that comes with the migrant crisis at America’s southern border.

The Texas conservative wrote:

For decades, Congress has failed to fully secure our southern border which has invited hundreds of thousands of illegal crossings per month. This is placing a substantial burden on border communities in Texas who are absorbing much of that overflow. Local governments have risen to this great challenge […] Yet they are worse positioned than the Department of Homeland Security and the federal government to meet these needs, and lack the capability to absorb a large influx.

Sen. Cruz noted the migrant crisis at southern border puts a “substantial burden on border communities in Texas,” which requires that localities spend “tens of millions” of dollars on illegal immigrants who cross the border. Cruz said local governments have risen to the challenge by providing food, transportation, housing, and medical services to asylum seekers and unaccompanied alien children; however, they lack DHS’ capabilities to handle the large influx of migrants.

Cruz said local Texas districts have been “taxed to their limit from a combination of additional use and resources diverted away to address aliens’ needs.”

Communities across the Rio Grande Valley have experienced an influx of 163,423 additional aliens and El Paso, Texas, has seen another 111,268 migrants flooding into their communities.

“And this only county those aliens that the Border Patrol has apprehended at the Southwest Border,” Cruz wrote.

Sen. Cruz’s letter to the DHS arises as the agency issued Flores regulation which will allow border agencies to detain migrants and children for multiple weeks until the federal government can complete their asylum claims. The regulation would replace the 2015 court-ordered Flores rule which mandated that migrants with children must be released after 20 days, even if officials believe that the migrants cannot receive asylum. The new DHS regulation might help Texas border communities with the migrant crisis.

The Texas senator asked the DHS help reimburse Texas communities for the cost of providing illegal immigrant and asylum seekers with “essential services.” The senator said that DHS has “considerable discretion” to spend money and will receive billions more to resolve the problems at America’s southern border.

Cruz asked McAleenan to ensure that the border crisis does not disproportionately affect Texas border communities.

Cruz wrote:

Necessity has compelled Texas border communities to assist you in your efforts to secure our border and deal fairly and humanely with those who have entered into the United States: two-thirds of apprehensions so far in this fiscal year have occurred in El Paso, Del Rio, and Rio Grande Valley.

“Please take all possible steps to ensure that the burden of paying for this crisis does not fall disproportionately on those border communities,” Cruz wrote.

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