An upcoming vote on a $4.5 billion emergency migrant aid bill has sharply divided Democrats.
With a vote expected Tuesday, the humanitarian aid measure has created a chasm between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and supporters of the bill and the more liberal members of the Party who fear it will only fund more policies they object to by the Trump administration, The New York Times reported.
With time running out, Pelosi met with Democrats on Monday to shore up support of the bill ahead of voting. The huddle came amid disturbing reports of overcrowded detention facilities with migrants, including children, living in poor conditions without basic necessities like soap and toothpaste.
Reports confirmed Monday that a Border Patrol station in Clint, Tex., which allegedly lacked supplies and even adequate food supplies, had hundreds of migrant children transferred out of the facility which was only intended to be used on a temporary basis.
According to The Times:
But with a House vote on the package planned for Tuesday, some Democrats are revolting over the measure, fearing that the aid will be used to carry out Mr. Trump’s aggressive tactics, including deportation raids that he has promised will begin within two weeks. Republicans are siding with the White House, which on Monday threatened a veto. They oppose restrictions in the measure that are meant to dictate better standards for facilities that hold migrant children and to bar the money from being used for enforcing immigration law.
“Democrats distrust this president because we have seen his cruel immigration policies and lawless behavior terrorize our constituents,” Rep. Nita M. Lowey of New York told fellow Democrats on Monday.
“That is why we have language to stop transfers of money for immigration raids and detention beds. But we cannot allow our anger at this president to blind us to the horrific conditions at facilities along the border as the agencies run out of money,” the chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee added in an effort to get her colleagues to support the package.
Meanwhile, the White House is threatening a veto even as Trump temporarily pulled back on an impending Immigration and Customs Enforcement sweep to deport people living the United States illegally. Trump agreed to give lawmakers two weeks to come up with a solution as he announced the delay following a call from Pelosi.
Pelosi asserted that the emergency aid funding would only be used for humanitarian purposes and “does not fund the administration’s failed mass detention policy.”
“As members of Congress and as Americans, we have a sacred moral responsibility to protect the human rights and the lives of vulnerable children and families,” she said, according to The Times. “To do anything less would be an outrageous and unacceptable violation of our oath and our morality.”
As Pelosi worked to draw her party together,” dozens of House Democrats were in revolt over it,” the newspaper reported.
“I will not fund another dime to allow ICE to continue its manipulative tactics,” New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said heading into the meeting with Pelosi on Monday, echoing sentiments she declared over the weekend with progressive colleagues like Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Massachusetts’ Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, vowing in a news release to withhold further funding for ICE and the CBP.
The GOP has supported building mass concentration camps on the southern border. Kids & families are dying.
Now they want money for more – w/ ZERO negotiation on how $ is spent.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 22, 2019
“We all want to address the problems at the border, but we don’t know that there are enough sticks in this bill to make sure that the Trump administration actually spends the money the way they’re supposed to,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal said on Monday, adding further to the Democratic divide.
“He’s creating these crises and then trying to point a finger at Democrats to give him more money, which he then uses for his own purposes,” the Washington Democrat and co-chairwoman of the Progressive Caucus said, according to The Times.
Standing in sharp contrast to the House divide, in the Senate a partisan committee approved a $4.6 billion border aid package last week that also addressed concerns over limiting the use of funds for enforcement.
Trump will veto the House measure if it “does not provide adequate funding to meet the current crisis” and “contains partisan provisions designed to hamstring the administration’s border enforcement efforts,” the White House said in a statement Monday.