Rep. Cisneros Concludes Delegation Visit to U.S.-Mexico Border
Site visit included briefings from law enforcement and homeland security officials, immigrant advocates and local experts
EL PASO, TEXAS – Congressman Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39) concluded a two-day site visit to both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border along with over 20 Members of Congress. The delegation, the largest to visit the border yet this Congress, Rep. Cisneros left with a comprehensive, firsthand picture of our broken immigration system and the human impact of new policies governing people seeking asylum in our country. The delegation was led by Rep. Veronica Escobar (TX-16) and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08).
“It is our responsibility to put forward solutions to address our broken immigration system and hold the President accountable for this humanitarian crisis," said Rep. Cisneros. After personally conducting our oversight on the border with my colleagues, it’s important now, more than ever, to act swiftly to end the inhumane treatment of people because of their country of origin and uphold our American values.”
On Thursday, Members crossed into Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, visiting a shelter crowded with hundreds of migrants, some as young as three months old. Members then received an extensive briefing at the U.S. Consulate in Juárez, including from the Consul General, DHS officials and leaders from the Juárez city government. Upon returning to the United States, Members visited the CBP’s Paso del Norte processing center, where they received a Members-only briefing from law enforcement officials on the death of the 32-year-old Salvadoran man who died in New Mexico while in the custody of Customs and Border Protection. Thursday concluded with an oversight visit of the CBP facility Border Patrol Station One.
On Friday, the second and final day of the site visit, Rep. Cisneros spoke with immigration advocates who provided examples of how the new Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP) and metering policies affect people seeking asylum. Cisneros also participated in a roundtable discussion with local business leaders on the importance of binational trade between the U.S. and Mexico. Following these briefings, Cisneros participated in a congressional oversight visit to an Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) facility for unaccompanied minors.
The final stop of Rep. Cisneros’ site visit was to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s El Paso Processing facility, where approximately 850 people are currently being detained.
“El Paso has been ground zero for the administration’s cruel anti-immigrant policies — from being the testing ground for the administration’s horrific family separation policy to being the site of dangerous and inhumane overcrowding,” said Congresswoman Veronica Escobar. “Congressman Gil Cisneros knows that in order to create smart and humane border public policy that reflects our nation’s values, Congress must understand as much as possible about the border. I thank Rep. Cisneros and my House Democratic Caucus colleagues for joining me in this effort to bear witness to this humanitarian crisis and for their willingness to come to the southern border to see the full and complete picture.”
“Congressman Gil Cisneros and House Democrats know that it is possible to keep our nation safe while upholding our core, patriotic values of decency, compassion and respect for due process,” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries. “Our delegation to the U.S.-Mexico border confirmed that right now, our broken immigration system means our government is falling unacceptably short on all these measures. Rep. Cisneros and our delegation toured both sides of the border, speaking with advocates and experts, listening to law enforcement and conducting oversight. For many, this visit raised more questions than it answered, which is why the hardworking people of California are fortunate to have someone as committed to fixing our broken immigration system as Rep. Cisneros.”