As Trump administration doubles down on failed immigration policies and refuses to show leadership, lawmakers introduce Central America Reform And Enforcement Act – set of smart and effective solutions to address the root causes of the Central American migrant crisis
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich reintroduced the Central America Reform And Enforcement Act, a major legislative proposal to address the root causes of the Central American migrant crisis. The bill outlines the coordinated regional response needed to effectively manage the endemic violence and humanitarian crises in the Northern Triangle countries -- El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras -- that are causing many women, children, and families to flee and seek asylum in the United States.
According to reports, U.S. Border Patrol has in recent weeks released over 4,000 migrants applying for asylum in the United States in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Yesterday, Udall, Heinrich and the New Mexico congressional delegation sent a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees requesting that state and local governments and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are providing much-needed humanitarian relief to asylum seekers in southern New Mexico are reimbursed.
In March, the Trump administration announced its intent to cut off direct aid to Northern Triangle countries in response to the recent influx of migrants from these nations seeking refuge in the United States – despite the fact that a broad range of security and foreign policy experts agree that that cutting aid will only increase the primary drivers of migration in the region.
“New Mexico has become ground zero for the consequences of this president’s failed approach to Central America, immigration, and border security policy. The Trump administration’s strategy boils down to taking funds from our military budget to waste on an ineffective border wall and demonizing families fleeing violence and seeking asylum, leaving New Mexico communities to deal with the fallout,” said Udall, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “This legislation recognizes that we have to address the root causes of migration from Central American countries -- not merely scramble to deal with the symptoms when they reach our border. Our bill tackles the underlying issues driving migration by engaging with Northern Triangle governments to help combat corruption, reduce violence, crack down on smuggling and trafficking, and restore the rule of law. As a border state senator, I’ll continue to fight for humane immigration policy, smart border security, and work to ensure that families don’t have to flee their homes in terror to make a life-threatening journey to our border.”
“The Administration has repeatedly failed to address the root causes of migration from Central America, including extreme poverty and violence,” said Heinrich. “The Central America Reform and Enforcement Act directly addresses the needs of these countries by reinstituting depleted foreign aid assistance, cracking down on gang violence, strengthening economic opportunity, and enhancing refugee processing systems that allow potential migrants to make claims in their home countries – before deciding to make such a dangerous journey. New Mexico’s border communities, like Las Cruces, are shouldering the burden of the Trump Administration’s failing policies. Congress must take action and support these common-sense efforts to address a humanitarian crisis that has been exacerbated by President Trump.”
The Central America Reform and Enforcement Act would: