Luján Tours HHS Shelter for Migrant Children
Las Cruces, N.M. – U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) issued the following statement after visiting the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) emergency intake site for unaccompanied children that opened 41 days ago at Fort Bliss.
“My heart breaks for the children I met today, who have endured pain and trauma in their home countries and on the treacherous journey to our southern border. I am grateful for the dozens of HHS staff working to reunite them with families or sponsors as safely and quickly as possible, while also providing them with essential mental and behavioral health services. I was also encouraged to see how the site implemented COVID-safe protocols to protect both children and staff. The site directors were forthcoming about the improvements still needed at the new facility, including the need for more caseworkers to reduce the amount of time children spend at Fort Bliss. I appreciated their honesty, and I’ll be looking into how to get them the resources they need to continue sheltering and processing migrant children who arrive to the country alone.
“Today, I saw firsthand the progress that has been made under President Biden. He inherited an asylum system that was dismantled by the previous administration, and, in a matter of a few short months, restored the asylum process and once again began providing shelter for unaccompanied minors. But more must be done to help these innocent children and address the root causes forcing them to flee their home countries. I will continue working toward a multi-faceted, strategic approach to immigration that reflects our values as a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws.”