Cornyn: Reimburse for migrant care

Published 12:01 am Thursday, June 20, 2019

Special to The News

After conversations with local officials in Texas, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn sent a letter urging Senate appropriators to reimburse local Texas communities and non-governmental organizations for migrant care directly from the Department of Homeland Security.

In an issued statement, Cornyn said that due to increased border crossings in recent months, local governments and NGOs have spent significant resources on transportation, food and shelter for migrants, services which are typically provided by the federal government.

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He sent the letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairwoman Shelley Moore Capito and Homeland Security Subcommittee Ranking Member Jon Tester, D-Montana.

“Along the border and throughout Texas, cities, counties, and NGO’s have felt the effects of the historical levels of the migrant influx into the United States, primarily occurring in Texas,” Cornyn, a Republican, wrote. “These local governments have gone above and beyond the call of duty in meeting the needs of transiting asylum seekers, UACs, and migrants through the diversion of millions of dollars in local taxpayer funds to provide transportation, food, and housing.

“These precious funds collected from local citizens have been diverted away from their traditional, intended purpose such as providing clean drinking water, power, and public safety needs. Instead, these resources are being used to fill a role that has traditionally been filled by the federal government.”

Cornyn noted that in this fiscal year, the U.S. Border Patrol has apprehended more than 593,000 people along the southern border, up 135 percent in apprehensions over the previous year. The crisis has had the greatest impact on Texas, he noted, as 66% of all Border Patrol apprehensions in Fiscal Year 2019 have occurred in the Border Patrol’s El Paso, Del Rio and Rio Grande Valley sectors.