WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX), Top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement today on the crisis at our southern border and assistance to Central American countries.
“I have been to the border of the United States and Mexico many times. As head of the task force created in 2014 to address the crisis of unaccompanied children coming to the border, I visited Central American countries and met with their leaders. What was a crisis at that time mainly affecting children and teenagers has exploded to encompass whole families.
“Just last Monday, Border Patrol apprehended more migrants in a single day than they ever had before. Then, on Tuesday, they exceeded that number. In fact, unauthorized border crossings are at a 12-year high. We have also seen a 50% increase in unaccompanied children. This is simply unsustainable.
“Since 2014, we have appropriated billions of dollars of aid to help stop the flow of migrants from the Northern Triangle. In my role as Chairwoman of the State & Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, we made it clear in the funding bill that the aid going directly to these governments would have strings, it would be constantly reviewed, and it would be suspended if it was not working. While I do not support a complete suspension of all aid, as the President has suggested, I do support reevaluating the way in which aid is delivered to these areas. Where programs aren’t working, funds should be redirected. Where programs are working, they should continue to receive our support. For example, there are many contractors and non-governmental organizations with a successful history of delivering aid to war-torn countries that could be used effectively in this situation.
“That said, funding alone will not solve this crisis. If we are truly going to address the crisis at hand, we must change our laws – particularly when it comes to asylum seekers.
“The historic multilateral compact that Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen negotiated last week with the countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador is an important example of what needs to be done to bolster border security, prevent the formation of new migrant caravans, and address the root causes of the migration crisis.
“I have seen for myself that our border and immigration enforcement officials are overwhelmed by the current situation, and I am committed to working with my colleagues in the Congress and the Administration to come up with the right policy and funding solutions to address the urgent humanitarian and security crisis we face.”