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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, in a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing titled, “Unprecedented Migration at the U.S. Southern Border: The Exploitation of Migrants through Smuggling, Trafficking, and Involuntary Servitude,” Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), senior Democrat on the committee, restated his commitment to working in a bipartisan way to humanely address migration to our southern border, including by approving $4.5 billion in emergency supplemental funding to improve conditions at the border as early as tonight. Senator Carper lamented the President’s unilateral decision earlier this year to suspend bipartisan aid funding to support Alliance for Prosperity -- a coordinated regional response to effectively manage the endemic violence and humanitarian crises in the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras from which the majority of families and children arriving at the U.S. Southern border are fleeing -- and expressed hope that funding could be reinstated.

This hearing took place amid reports of horrific conditions and overcrowding at temporary facilities managed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to house migrant children along the U.S. Southern Border.

“We must address the root causes of why people are arriving at our Southern border: lack of opportunity and hope, crime and violence, and corruption. The Alliance for Prosperity aims to address all three of those,” said Senator Carper.

Senator Carper continued, “Sadly…President Trump has cut off funding to the Alliance for Prosperity. [The Senate version of the border] supplemental focuses on the border and illegal immigration, but we don't restore funding for the Alliance for Prosperity, which I think is a mistake. We have to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. We have to address the root causes, and we’ve got to address the pull factors as well.”

Watch the full clip here.

Background:

In February, Senator Carper led a congressional delegation to Central America to see firsthand the difficult and dangerous conditions in Central America that force so many migrants to flee and seek safe haven at the U.S. Southern border. Joining Senator Carper on the trip to the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Representatives Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Don Beyer (D-Va.), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) and Lou Correa (D-Calif.). Over the past five years, Senator Carper has repeatedly traveled to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, as well as Mexico and Colombia, to study the root causes of Central American migration.

In March, following the trip to Central America, in March, Senator Carper penned an op-ed to discuss the conditions in the region he witnessed firsthand that force so many families to flee and seek safety at the U.S. Southern border.

In December 2015, Senator Carper, then Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the report, Stronger Neighbors - Stronger Borders: Addressing the Root Causes of the Migration Surge from Central America. The report found that the ongoing migration surge from the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador reflects troubled conditions in those countries.