U.S. Senate Passes USD 4.6 Billion Emergency Aid Bill to Address U.S.-Mexico Border CrisisJune 27, 2019 15:55
(Image source from: The Indian Wire)
The United States Senate on Wednesday passed an emergency funding bill worth USD 4.6 billion in a bid to address the migrant crisis at its southern border with Mexico.
The bill would provide President Donald Trump with an upper hand in negotiations with House Democrats who will now face pressure to act quickly, according to a report by Al Jazeera reported.
"The Republican Senate just passed bipartisan humanitarian assistance for our Southern Border, 84-8! In addition to aid, Congress must close the catastrophic loopholes that are driving the Crisis. We must end incentives for Smuggling Children, Trafficking Women, and Selling Drugs," the president wrote on Twitter.
Less than 24 hours, the 84-8 vote came after the House of Representative passed a measure that was akin but had more limitations on how the Trump administration could make use of the money. That House bill was rejected in the Senate.
"The topline numbers of the House bill may be similar but the policy implications are vast. Time is of the essence here," Senator Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican, was quoted as saying."We may not agree on how we got here or how best to move forward but we agree there is a crisis, a major crisis, and that the resources are needed now," Capito added.
The action came after a shocking image of a drowned man and his daughter lying face down in the waters of the Rio Grande, part of the United States border with Mexico, went viral on the internet on Tuesday, underscoring the human toll of the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. The duo along with other family members had left El Salvador on April 3 seeking a better life in Dallas, Texas, CNN reported.
According to the report by Al Jazeera, the bill would provide USD 145 million to support the United States military's operations at the border, which has been repeatedly opposed by the House Democrats. It would as well provide USD 793 million to better migrant housing conditions at detention sites and border stations and along with USD 112 million for migrant care.
The Senate bill would further allocate USD 2.88 billion for the Health and Human Services Department's much-criticized program to house unaccompanied migrant children, allowing it to expand its housing capacity.
By Sowmya Sangam