Carper Supports Bipartisan Bill to Provide Much-Needed Humanitarian Aid for Migrant Families, Children

Carper approves funding to process and humanely care for migrants who have arrived in the U.S., but highlights missed opportunity to address root causes of migration

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Tom Carper (D-Del), senior member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) released the following statement after voting to approve the Senate’s bipartisan $4.59 billion supplemental relief bill to address the humanitarian crisis at the U.S. southern border and ensure humane treatment for migrant families and children who have already arrived to our country. As Ranking Member of the Permanent Select Committee on Investigations (PSI), Senator Carper has worked with Chairman Rob Portman (R-Ohio) to push to improve care and safety for unaccompanied minors in the care of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Among other provisions, the border supplemental includes $2.88 billion for HHS’ Office of Refugee Resettlement to care for migrant children and help place children with sponsor families. 

Senator Carper has also tirelessly pushed for robust aid for the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador in order to address the root causes of migration, including corruption, lack of economic opportunity and violence, that are forcing families to flee their homelands and make the dangerous trek to the U.S. southern border.

“The majority of migrant families and children arriving to our southern border have fled horrific violence, crime and corruption and are seeking safe haven. We have a moral obligation to ensure that migrants, especially unaccompanied minors, fleeing their homes and extreme violence are safely and responsibly guided through the immigration process. But, tragically, the conditions too many of these migrant families are facing in the United States are not in keeping with our values as a nation. We know that this funding, which will address the humanitarian crisis at the border and help to ensure migrants, especially children, are treated humanely and processed in a timely manner, is urgently needed. While this not a perfect bill, I appreciate Senators Shelby and Leahy working to craft a bipartisan compromise that presents real solutions and could be acted on quickly.

“While I’m glad that we could move expeditiously to provide the necessary funding, I remain convinced that, to truly resolve these issues of irregular migration, we must address the root causes of this problem – extreme poverty, unspeakable violence, and lack of economic opportunity in countries like Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. I strongly believe that it was a mistake for President Trump to cut off funding for these countries, especially as we were just starting to see the funding produce results in the Northern Triangle. I also think it is a missed opportunity that the Senate version of the border supplemental bill, as it currently stands, does not restore aid to these Northern Triangle countries, even though Congress has repeatedly appropriated that funding in a bipartisan way. I am hopeful that, ultimately, this funding can be restored in a conference between the House and Senate versions, and I will continue to in a bipartisan way with my colleagues to make sure we are tackling the root causes of migration, rather than just the symptoms.”