Grijalva: Congress can put aside politics, help migrant children - Tucson News Now

Grijalva: Congress can put aside politics and help migrant children

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Source: Craig Reck / Tucson News Now Source: Craig Reck / Tucson News Now
NOGALES, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Hundreds of migrant children and the Border Patrol agents caring for them at a facility in Nogales still need more resources, according to a group that toured the temporary holding center Saturday afternoon.

Congressman Raul Grijalva said the transparency and openness of the Border Patrol had improved since he had canceled his first trip earlier in the week. He said the Department of Homeland Security sided with him after reviewing the case.

"Someone panicked at some point and felt that we were here to make an issue or be hypercritical of the situation and changed the rules at the last minute, knowing full well that I was coming here with six other people,"said Grijalva.

After seeing the facility, he said Congress can help the situation with support for emergency relief money that does not affect what's already been budgeted for other refugee programs. But that support needs to come without any political posturing, according to the congressman.

"Our criticism was that this humanitarian crisis was not being treated as a crisis by Congress," he said. "Provide resources but stay out of micro managing what I think is a very delicate situation."

Rev. Vililulfo Valderrama of Our Lady of Fatima Church in Tucson was part of the original group that did not tour the facility earlier in the week. Saturday, he said agents inside are taking care of the children and doing the best they can, but there is still a need for faith-based support.

"They have medical personnel and they do medical trainings, but I thought the psychological component is kind of weak," said Valderrama. "There is a higher component to our humanity, the spiritual component." 

As of Saturday, the group estimated there are 825 children inside the facility who are to be processed in 3–7 days.

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