House Democrats aim to pass aid package addressing migrant surge

MEXICO. Tenosique. 2015. Migrants awaiting basic medical attention. Red Cross mobile medical clinic outside of Shelter 72, a Catholic shelter for migrants on the dangerous journey to the US border.


Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) speaks at the Center for American Progress (CAP) 2019 Ideas Conference in Washington, U.S., May 22, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday is set to pass an aid package aimed at addressing the migrant surge along the U.S.-Mexico border, House Democrats said, citing an urgency to act following reports of poor conditions, particularly for young children, at overcrowded facilities along the U.S. border.

“This week we have to solve the humanitarian crisis,” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries told reporters, adding that the funding package would pass the House with a “strong Democratic vote.”

Republican U.S. President Donald Trump, despite having requested the aid, on Monday night threatened to veto the House bill, saying the provisions added by Democrats – who control the chamber – would make the country “less safe.”

Democratic leaders said they would add language to improve health standards for adults and children in the custody of U.S. border patrol agents, including standards for medical care and nutrition after more liberal members expressed alarm over the conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The bill’s language would also set a three-month limit for any unaccompanied child migrant to spend at an intake shelter unless notice is given.

Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Bill Berkrot



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