‘People need help, now.’ Bipartisan bill aimed at slowing migrant crisis

Local News

MCALLEN, Texas (KVEO) — Texas’ Senior Senator John Cornyn announced bipartisan, bicameral legislation that would tackle the growing immigration crisis at the southern border.

The proposed bill, called the Bipartisan Border Solutions Act, calls for four new migrant processing centers in hot zones along the southern border as well as hiring more immigration judges.

Representative Tony Gonzales, a Republican from San Antonio, said the new processing centers would help alleviate the crunch Border Patrol agents are facing on the border.

However, there was no concrete plan for the new centers yet.

“Where exactly these processing centers are or will be located has yet to be determined but there’s some areas that make sense,” said Gonzales.

Spring is historically the peak of migrant border crossings, and according to data on the Customs and Border Protection website, it’s holding true for the fiscal year 2021.

Senator Cornyn called the increase of unaccompanied minors a cartel tactic to overwhelm Border Patrol.

“They’ve flooded the zone so much that our border patrol will number one, be taken offline to take care of unaccompanied children for example,” Cornyn said.

In his video conference, Senator Cornyn said the group had spoken to elected leaders in border communities and that the group of legislators were open to suggestions.

KVEO spoke with McAllen Mayor Jim Darling to find out what he thought about the proposed legislation.

He told KVEO the bill is a step in the right direction but building more processing centers and hiring more immigration judges will take time, and the Rio Grande Valley is in need of solutions now.

“What they really need is, and it would be a lot easier to get and faster, would be some social workers to help process the asylum seekers if they’re going to allow them to come across,” said Darling.

He added that McAllen had spent “around $300,000” assisting migrants to get to their final destinations, and he would like to see language included in the bill that guaranteed cities that spent money helping migrants would be reimbursed.

“We think we’re a continuation of the process of asylum that the government has. They’re dropped off and they don’t get to their places until they go through our bus station and planes or busses,” said Darling.

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