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Rep. Chu Begins Oversight Visit to Southern Border

December 14, 2018
Press Release

Washington, DC — Today and Saturday, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) will be taking part in an oversight visit to immigrant detention facilities at the southern border. Rep. Chu will be joined on this delegation by Sens. Jeff Merkley (OR), Mazie Hirono (HI), and Tina Smith (MN). Rep. Beto O’Rourke (TX-16) will be joining on Saturday. The delegation will inspect family detention centers in Karnes City and Dilley, Texas; and the child detention center in Tornillo, Texas. The Tornillo detention facility is currently holding more than 2,000 children in a tent encampment in the desert. Rep. Chu has made previous visits to both Karnes and Dilley and to the Southern border in Texas and in California. Rep. Chu released the following statement:

“We are here as part of our obligation to perform oversight into this government’s actions. A humanitarian crisis is brewing on the southern border because of the choices the administration made in the treatment of immigrants, including children. Many of these immigrants have a legitimate and legal right to be here under our asylum laws. But, instead, President Trump and his administration have decided to separate and hold families for prolonged periods of time. As a psychologist, I know that this risks retraumatizing children, perhaps causing long-term damage. And now, with this week’s report of a 7-year-old who died of dehydration and shock in US custody, we know the risks are far greater as well.

“Today and tomorrow, I will be speaking with lawyers, government officials, advocates, medical professionals, and hopefully some of the immigrants who have been detained so that we can help the country better understand the impact of the administration’s current policies. Today’s visit will inform our actions when the House Democrats assume the majority in January. That must include Congressional oversight into the treatment of immigrants in US detention, as well as seeking safer alternatives, like allowing asylum-seekers to wait for their day in court with loved ones.

"These courageous immigrants have risked everything because they believe in the greatness of America. Nobody should be punished, or worse, die, for that belief.”