EL PASO, Texas - El Paso’s federal representative held her monthly town hall Saturday.
Veronica Escobar (D-El Paso) explained her priorities during those first days including DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the Affordable Care Act and raising the minimum wage, plus what she has planned for the next few months.
She also discussed President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration, claiming it could take millions away from Fort Bliss.
Rep. Escobar said she doesn’t expect migrant influx along our border decrease any time soon. The congresswoman said the thinks the current flow of migrants crossing the border will be the new normal, and we might even reach 1,000 migrants a day in May.
She explained a new processing center would help move people through the system faster but will take time to build.
Rep. Escobar explained she and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) have been working with Customs and Border Protection.
The new center, paid for by $192 million in the 2019 budget, is supposed to steer away from the chain link fencing, cold temperatures, and thermal blankets that have been heavy sources of criticism for immigration agencies. It’s supposed to be built with families in mind, adjusting to a shifting immigration trend away from single working men.
Rep. Escobar said she hopes CBP can work with civilian organizations to lighten the load.
“I’m very proud of the way El Paso has responded, but I’m hoping with the Central Processing Center, as I mentioned to constituents in there, that they will collaborate with the non-profits. Any NGO that wants to do simultaneous community processing so that the burden on the community gets eased a little bit,” she said.
Rep. Escobar said the entire process could take up to two years, but they are working to get the center developed as soon as possible.
She also plans to move legislation against the remain in Mexico Policy which makes some Central American asylum seekers wait for their court hearings south of the border.
After an ABC-7 report, Rep. Escobar said civilian militias have no place at the border where not even the military are allowed to enforce law.
“That’s because they don’t have the training necessary. These folks don't have it at all and pose a real threat and risk to everyone in that area. We called the Border Patrol yesterday and put in a request that they denounce this and do it quickly and clearly,” Rep. Escobar said.