O'Rourke Returns to Immigrant Camp While Cruz Introduces Emergency LegislationPress Release
EL PASO, TEXAS – (Press Release) Beto O'Rourke will return to Tornillo at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday and tour the newly opened tent camp where children are being sent without their mothers and fathers under the Trump Administration’s "zero tolerance" policy.
The El Paso Congressman will be joined by Rep. Joaquin Castro and a bipartisan group of their colleagues.
The tour comes nearly one week after O'Rourke led a Father's Day march to Tornillo. A group of more than one thousand including local leaders, advocates, elected officials and concerned Texans assembled to raise awareness of the tent camp and draw attention to the inhumane separation of children from their parents, the denial of a legal asylum process for those presenting themselves at our ports of entry and other recent actions taken by the Trump Administration.
The El Paso Congressman is trying to unseat Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the November general election.
Meanwhile, Senator Cruz has introduced emergency legislation to keep immigrant families together.
The junior Senator from Texas issued the following statement Wednesday:
“All Americans are rightly horrified by the images we are seeing on the news, children in tears pulled away from their mothers and fathers. This must stop. Now. We can end this crisis by passing the legislation I am introducing this week.
“Repeatedly, I have visited detention facilities tragically housing young children. For far too long, children have been the greatest victims of our broken immigration system, with tens of thousands of children who were detained under the Obama Administration and continuing through today, and with far too many of those children facing horrific physical or sexual assault from criminal human traffickers.
“The answer is not what congressional Democrats are proposing: simply releasing illegal aliens and returning to the failed policy of ‘catch and release.’ Rather, we should fix the backlog in immigration cases, remove the legal barriers to swift processing, and resolve asylum cases on an expedited basis.
“While these cases are pending, families should stay together. Children belong with their mothers and fathers. Once their cases have been adjudicated – under my legislation, in no longer than 14 days – those who meet the legal standard should be granted asylum and those who don’t should be immediately returned to their home country.
“We can fix this. If my Democratic colleagues will join me, not play politics but work to solve the problem, we can start to end family separation this week. And, we can honor the rule of law.”
This week, Sen. Cruz is introducing the Protect Kids and Parents Act, which will:
- Double the number of federal immigration judges, from roughly 375 to 750.
- Authorize new temporary shelters, with accommodations to keep families together.
- Mandate that illegal immigrant families must be kept together, absent aggravated criminal conduct or threat of harm to the children.
- Provide for expedited processing and review of asylum cases, so that—within 14 days—those who meet the legal standards will be granted asylum, and those who do not will be immediately returned to their home countries.