Lowey Floor Remarks on Emergency Humanitarian Supplemental

2019-06-25 18:22

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey today delivered the following remarks on the House Floor in support of H.R. 3401, House Democrats’ emergency supplemental that provides $4.5 billion to address the humanitarian crisis at the Southern border:

I rise in support of House Democrats’ humanitarian supplemental to care for the increased number of migrants crossing the Southern border.

In a matter of days, the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Homeland Security will run out of money to care for children and families at the border who are already held in deplorable, chaotic conditions, often without needed medical care or even soap and toothbrushes.

Children go without showers or clean clothes for weeks. Seven- and 8-year-olds care for infants they don’t know while toddlers go without diapers.

This is heartbreaking and, in the richest country on Earth, unacceptable.

This bill totals $4.5 billion for basic human needs and better care. It includes $200 million for an integrated, multi-agency processing center pilot program with non-profits as well as $60 million to assist local entities and non-profits serving the influx of migrants.  

The President’s cruel immigration policies that tear apart families and terrorize communities demand the stringent safeguards in this bill to ensure these funds are used for humanitarian needs only – not for immigration raids, not detention beds, not a border wall.

The bill would better protect migrants’ rights and dignity with stronger requirements for care of unaccompanied children, including standards for medical care and medical emergencies; nutrition, hygiene, and facilities; and personnel training.

Strict conditions on influx shelters that house children would mandate compliance with requirements in the Flores settlement. Sponsors and potential sponsors would be safeguarded from DHS immigration enforcement based on information collected by HHS during the sponsor vetting process.

M. Speaker, we cannot be complicit in the crisis and suffering at the border.

I urge support for this legislation.

116th Congress