In an unprecedented effort, Congressman Cleaver will lead an intra-parliamentary delegation from the United States and Mexico to our nation's Southern border. This fact-finding, cooperative effort, beginning today, will include an operational briefing from on-site officials, a tour of an HHS facility for children, and a first of its kind discussion between the two groups about the dangerous, humanitarian crisis.
Representative Cleaver will be joined by Rep. Mark Takano, Rep. Dina Titus, Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, and Rep. Mike Honda.
"There are no easy answers here," said U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II, "but that is no excuse for inaction. We must forge a path forward in this country to protect our nation's security and enforce our border, while not turning our backs on these innocent children who are in this heartbreaking situation through no fault of their own."
Congressman Cleaver is traveling to the border to call attention to the ongoing humanitarian crisis at our Southern border. Thousands of unaccompanied minors have fled dangerous situations throughout Central America. Once they leave their homes in Honduras, El Salvador, or Guatemala to travel to the United States, they can face even more danger. Groups across the country have spoken out to support and safeguard these children. These groups include those that are faith-based, involved in civil and human rights, immigration, refugee, child welfare, public health, labor, and legal and educational concerns.
“These children need our help,” stated Congressman Cleaver. “Some of them are as young as my grandchildren and have been victims of violence themselves. Some have witnessed their families and friends murdered in front of their very own eyes. Some are threatened and beaten, sometimes by those who were paid to bring them safely to the U.S. They face starvation and dehydration, and are forced to sleep wherever they can find a space. I learned of one child who was sleeping on top of a train car. We have to do more. The bipartisan immigration legislation that overwhelmingly passed the Senate over a year ago offers comprehensive answers to the problems with our immigration system.”
Members of the House of Representatives are en route today - and will begin their visit tomorrow morning at the Hidalgo International Bridge where they will meet with the delegation of Mexican officials. Following a briefing on border security from CPB officials, the group will depart for the McAllen Border Patrol Station, where they will receive an operational briefing before touring an HHS Children's Facility. The fact-finding mission will conclude with a discussion between Members and the Mexican Chamber of Deputies.