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Politics & Government

Sens. Carper and Coons voice concerns over border humanitarian crisis

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Sarah Mueller
/
Delaware Public Media
Sens. Chris Coons and Tom Carper

Delaware’s U.S. senators are speaking out about what they call inhumane conditions in border facilities along the southern border.

Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons are joining other Senate Democrats in calling for the Trump administration to use 4.6 billion dollars in border aid for humanitarian purposes.

They are demanding the administration brief them Monday on how they plan to comply with the requirements laid out in the bill passed by Congress earlier this month. Those include moving children quickly out of border facilities and providing prompt medical care.

Coons and other senators visited three border facilities last week. He said he met detained children who haven’t been able to brush their teeth or wash themselves. He described the conditions at the Ursala site as being the worse.

“And the crowding that results in literally children in separate cages that can best be described as a dog kennel was something I found profoundly upsetting and just not up to the standards that we would hope that we would use in our country,” he said.

Coons said most of the undocumented people he spoke with at the border facilities were from Central American countries.

Carper is urging the Trump Administration to restart aid funding to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

“And we spend wisely the money that’s been provided," he said. "But that we focus like a laser on restoring the money the president has eliminated or blocked. The funding that actually goes to fight the root causes of why these people are coming in the first place.”

Carper said many people from Central America migrating here are fleeing violence and crime fueled by the U.S. drug epidemic.

Carper adds the Trump administration’s new asylum policy is unlikely to pass legal muster. The new rule says asylum applicants who pass through another country must apply for protection there - and be denied - to be eligible for asylum in the U.S.

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