This weekend, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) visited the southern border, met with immigrant and refugee rights advocates and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents, participated in a line tour, and visited the Nogales-DeConcini Port of Entry.
During the Senator’s visit to Southern Arizona, she toured the Southwest Key Estrella shelter, where unaccompanied children are currently being held, and the Casa Alitas shelter, which helps migrants connect with family and sponsors in the United States.
She also went across the border to Nogales, Mexico to visit the Kino Border Initiative women’s shelter and soup kitchen.
There, she met with asylum-seeking families affected by President Trump’s metering policy, which has forced families to wait in Mexico for months before they are allowed to make an asylum claim.
“During my trip to the U.S.-Mexico border this weekend, I saw a humanitarian crisis fueled by a President who has refused to take any concrete steps to improve conditions for migrant families, provide CBP agents with the necessary support to process families quickly and humanely, or protect families’ right to seek asylum in the United States.
“President Trump has cruelly shut the door on children and families seeking asylum, all the while refusing to address the heart-wrenching conditions at our border that are a national disgrace.
“As the former Attorney General of Nevada, I know how hard our nation’s law enforcement works to keep us safe.
“Yet what I in saw in Arizona were border patrol agents forced by this President to act both as law enforcement professionals and child care providers, all without the requisite training or support.
“I’m doing all I can to fight for safe, humane systems that give our law enforcement the resources and technology they need while also treating those on the border, many of them children and families, with the dignity and respect every person deserves.
“My trip to the border reinforced what Americans already know: that these individuals at our border are families and children fleeing unspeakable violence.
“They’re kids who like coloring books and playing soccer, and they’re parents who are doing everything they can to keep their families safe.
“It’s vital that President Trump and Republican leaders stop harming these innocent people and address the true problem by passing comprehensive immigration reform, working on bipartisan legislation that allows for alternatives to detention, and tackling the root causes of why these families are fleeing Central American countries in the first place.”