Livingston County Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin toured facilities along the U.S./Mexico border on Friday with a bi-partisan delegation of members.
The Holly Democrat toured the Donna Holding Facility, which is said to be one of the best, and talked to some families with small children. She says one woman expressed that they were being well taken-care of but Border Patrol is still separating kids who are not with a parent, grandparent, or legal guardian. Another stop on the tour was the Hidalgo Port of Entry, which Slotkin said looked similar to the U.S. port of entry in Detroit except for the massive amount of foot traffic that passes through every day. She said they saw people walking across the border to declare asylum and the different stages they go through as they are processed. Slotkin further noted that the role of the cartels is incredibly extensive and they are making good money off the desperation of migrants. Slotkin said when people don’t want to or can’t go to a port of entry along the border, then they make the dangerous journey across the Rio Grande River in stifling heat. Slotkin spent an hour along the U.S. side of the river, walking the well-worn paths that thousands of migrants have used over the past few months and said can really feel the tragedy of the situation when you walk along the paths. Earlier this month, Slotkin introduced a bill to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to mandate people detained by Border Patrol have access to adequate food and shelter, including shower facilities and personal care products. Currently, the law only requires the agency provide food and water to those in custody.
More details about the trip can be found on Slotkin’s Facebook page. (JM)