|WASHINGTON – Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, today urged colleagues to oppose a Democrat measure blocking House consideration of an amendment providing $4.5 billion in emergency resources for the border crisis. Rogers introduced the amendment to H.R. 2157, the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2019 with Judiciary Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-Ga.) following the administration’s ask for additional funding for humanitarian response and border operations.
Rogers’ remarks, as prepared for delivery:
This rule demonstrates, once again, that the Democrat majority refuses to acknowledge, accept, or address the very real crisis at our southern border.
New numbers came out yesterday illustrating the magnitude of the crisis. CBP detained more than 109,000 migrants along the southwest border last month – a 591 percent increase compared with April 2017.
In just the last seven months, more than 1 percent of the total population of Honduras and Guatemala have migrated to the United States. In total over a half a million migrants have crossed our border since October of last year – approximately the population of Tucson, Arizona.
Smugglers and cartels continue to preach that now is the time to come to the United States. These criminal organizations run an international smuggling operation filled with misery and abuse.
CBP has already rescued more than 2,000 migrants this fiscal year, pulling families out of the Rio Grande river, and saving children who smugglers have abandoned. Migrants that survive the smugglers often arrive in poor health, physically exhausted, and in need of urgent medical care.
The men and women of CBP are doing the best they can to respond to this humanitarian crisis, but they have run out of space to safely house and process the unprecedented number of family units seeking entry into the United States. Health and Human Services is on the verge of running out of funds to shelter vulnerable unaccompanied children that are crossing our border at levels 50 percent higher than last year.
Last week, the President sent Congress an urgent request for supplemental appropriations to address this humanitarian crisis. Ranking Member Collins and I filed an amendment to the supplemental which would have provided the $4.5 billion requested by the President.
It would have replenished critical funds needed to feed and shelter migrant families and unaccompanied children; provide urgent medical care and transportation services; and pay the growing costs of overtime for the men and women of DHS working on the frontlines of this crisis.
Unfortunately, the majority refused to make our amendment in order. In so doing – they again refused to take action to address this crisis; they stunningly refused to support the men and women of DHS; and most remarkably, they refused to provide needed assistance to the thousands of vulnerable migrants arriving at our border on a daily basis.
The majority’s political dysfunction is disgraceful. I urge them to work with the President and Republicans in Congress to immediately resolve this humanitarian crisis.
I urge all Members to oppose this rule and I yield back.