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Booker Travels to South Texas to See Firsthand the Human Toll of Trump “Zero Tolerance” Immigration Policies

June 26, 2018

MCALLEN, TXU.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) spent today in south Texas along the U.S.-Mexico border to see firsthand the human toll of President Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policies.

Booker arrived in McAllen, Texas, late Sunday night and immediately visited the U.S. port of entry at the McAllen-Hidalgo International Bridge. Reports have indicated that Customs and Border Protection officers are preventing refugees from legally claiming asylum at this port of entry.

On Monday morning, Booker visited the United States Courthouse in McAllen to observe immigration case proceedings firsthand. Booker also met with officials from the federal public defender’s office. Booker then visited the Humanitarian Respite Center, overseen by Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, to meet with refugees and immigrant advocacy organizations.

On Monday afternoon, Booker toured CBP’s McAllen border patrol station and central processing center.

“President Trump’s abhorrent immigration policies stand in stark contrast to America’s most fundamental ideals,” Booker said. “The human toll of the Trump administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policies are staggering: mothers and fathers separated from their children with no plan to reunite them; families who pose no threat to public safety warehoused in detention facilities, diverting critical taxpayer resources away from combating real threats; people fleeing violence and oppression in their home countries denied the ability to legally claim asylum in the United States. America has been a beacon of freedom and hope to the world for generations, and our immigration policies need to reflect these values.”

Booker spoke with NPR’s Morning Edition about his trip to the border earlier today. Audio is available here:

Booker also spoke with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell about his trip. Video is available here:

Last week, Booker introduced legislation that would significantly restrict family detention, preventing the federal government from expending resources to detain immigrants except in instances where immigrants pose a flight risk or a risk to public safety. The bill would also end the use of private prisons to detain immigrants, set humane standards for detention facilities, strengthen the inspection and monitoring of facilities in order to crack down on abuses, and better protect the civil rights of immigrant detainees.

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