McALLEN -- In recent months, there has been a growing emphasis on the immigration crisis and conditions happening at the U.S. southern border. From family separations to mistreatment inside detention centers, border towns -- specifically the Rio Grande Valley -- are in the spotlight, grabbing the attention of the nation, the media and most importantly politicians who deem these issues as inhumane.
One of those politicians is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who visited McAllen Sunday afternoon following a trip to Central America to tour detention facilities, The Catholic Charities Humanitarian Respite Center and to speak about the current immigration policies and conditions. Pelosi was accompanied by Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-28), Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (D-15) and a bipartisan Congressional delegation.
After hearing some stories from families waiting inside the center, Pelosi addressed their mission as a delegation, which is to find the root causes of immigration and how to fix them respectfully, as well as their overall message to Congress regarding these ongoing problems.
“We think we should be on a different path with our principles for immigration,” Pelosi said. “We want to recognize that we are a nation of immigrants. The immigration issue has been used in a way that is beneath the dignity of our country and denies the recognition that we are a nation of immigrants.”
Pelosi also said that it is Congress’ moral responsibility to push for a better immigration reform, one that no longer separates families but rather detains individuals who are actually dangerous.
“The focus should be on those who are the real criminals, who could truly cause our communities harm,” added Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) a Democrat and Chairwoman of Homeland Security subcommittee. “Not the mom and dads who are working in our communities, contributing to our communities, and making our communities a better and richer place.”
The group continues to search for solutions to the cruelty and policies ignored by the Trump administration. Pelosi said their trip to Central America, in which they visited El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, has helped their insight and aim for a better outcome.
“We cannot just keep training episodes,” said Pelosi. “We have to challenge the policy that enables that to happen.”