On Wednesday, President Trump responded to the now-viral images of a migrant father and daughter who drowned while trying to cross into the United States.
According to the president, Democratic lawmakers who have failed in their constitutional duties to legislate a solution are to blame.
“Democrats are solely responsible for the humanitarian crisis because they refused every single effort to shut off the magnets of child smuggling — hard to believe,” Trump said during a conference at the Faith and Freedom Coalition.
President Trump: "Democrats are solely responsible for the humanitarian crisis because they refused every single effort to shut off the magnets of child smuggling — hard to believe." pic.twitter.com/o4JcDR4F3t
— The Hill (@thehill) June 27, 2019
President Trump delayed his initial plan to deport millions of immigrants, per the request of Democrats, to offer them more time to legislate a solution.
Lawmakers in the House quickly used this time to pass a border bill which sends $4.5 billion in aid to migrants currently being detained in facilities.
“The U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved a $4.6 billion bill to address the migrant surge at the border with Mexico, setting up a negotiation with the House of Representatives and President Donald Trump over the funds and how they should be spent,” Reuters reports.
With U.S. officials saying they will run out of money for border agencies soon, leaders of both parties stressed that the need is great.
“We’ve got Border Patrol agents right now pulling money out of their own pockets to pay for diapers for these kids,” Representative Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, told reporters.
The House-passed bill contains health and nutrition standards for migrants in custody as well as other controls on U.S. immigration agencies following reports of poor conditions facing children at overcrowded facilities. Trump has threatened to veto that approach and the Senate rejected it on Tuesday.
The Senate then passed its own proposal, which has fewer restrictions than the House version, but includes money – left out by the House – to pay overtime for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees. It also includes $145 million to help the Defense Department cover costs for Pentagon operations at the border that Trump ordered.
Lawmakers will look to amend changes between the bills quickly and send a final bill to Trump’s desk before the week’s end as they have a scheduled legislative recess next week.