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Meng Statement on Voting Against Senate’s Border Spending Bill

Jun 28, 2019
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) this evening issued the following statement on voting against the Senate’s border spending bill.  
“The Trump Administration’s demonization of people who are running for their lives is abominable – and it has exacerbated the humanitarian crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. By now, we have all heard the abhorrent and abusive conditions hundreds of children were left in. That is why, today, I voted against the Senate’s spending bill that neither lives up to the compassion nor upholds the human dignity of children and families. The House’s border spending bill would have put in place strict requirements for ensuring the health and safety of children and adults in custody – including basic standards for nutrition and hygiene; the Republican Senate’s version did not. The House’s bill would have placed guardrails to guarantee that this funding will go straight to protecting these vulnerable children and families; the Senate’s version did not. The House bill would have doubled the amount of critical funding to support nonprofits and communities who care for the children’s well-being; the Senate’s bill did not. The House’s bill would have embraced a compassionate processing for children’s comfort by creating a new pilot program that would have allowed non-profit organizations to help process migrant children culturally, linguistically, and religiously appropriate; the Senate’s bill did not. My heart and head tells me that I cannot trust this Administration that has from day one instituted an anti-immigrant, anti-asylee, anti-family agenda.
The image of the father and daughter who drowned in the waters of Rio Grande has been seared onto my heart. I will forever be haunted by this image of the little girl whose arm was wrapped around her father – to whom she literally clung to for dear life. The words inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty to ‘give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,’ was meant for this little girl and her father – and the countless children and families at the border. I am heartbroken for these families, and I will never compromise on protecting our children.”