House Approves Aid Package for Thousands of Migrants at Border

Jun 26, 2019

The U.S. House has approved a $4.5 billion emergency border aid package to care for thousands of migrant families and unaccompanied children detained after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

Protesters gather to demand the defunding of government agencies for border protection and customs enforcement, Tuesday, June 25, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Credit (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The bill passed last night/Tuesday along party lines after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quelled a mini-revolt by progressives and Hispanic lawmakers who sought significant changes to the legislation.

New provisions added to the bill were more modest than what those lawmakers had sought, but the urgent need for the funding — to prevent the humanitarian emergency on the border from turning into a debacle — appeared to outweigh any lingering concerns.

The 230-195 vote sets up a showdown with the Republican-led Senate, which may try instead to force Democrats to send Trump a different, and broadly bipartisan, companion measure in coming days as the chambers race to wrap up the must-do legislation by the end of the week. The bill contains more than $1 billion to shelter and feed migrants detained by the border patrol and almost $3 billion to care for unaccompanied migrant children who are turned over the Department of Health and Human Services.

It seeks to mandate improved standards of care at HHS "influx shelters" that house children waiting to be placed with sponsors such as family members in the U.S.