Linda Sánchez to Department of State: Institute In-Country Processing Programs to Alleviate Border Crisis (July 30, 2014)
Washington, DC- In a letter addressed to Secretary of State John Kerry, Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (CA-38) today urged the Department of State to consider implementing programs that would allow individuals to apply for U.S. refugee status from their country of origin. Known as in-country processing, the programs would help stem the flow of migrant children coming to the United States. Last week, administration officials indicated that a pilot program is currently being considered for individuals looking to migrate from Honduras.
“The humanitarian crisis at the border requires commonsense solutions, not more money for security contractors,” said Rep. Sánchez. “The in-country processing plan would deter individuals, especially young children, from making the perilous journey to the U.S. Furthermore, the program is designed to give individuals the opportunity to apply for refugee status in an orderly and law-abiding manner.”
Congresswoman Sánchez also urged the Department of State to consider expanding the pilot program to El Salvador and Guatemala. Both countries have seen high numbers of children fleeing violence at home.
The letter comes as House Republicans look to vote on legislation this week that appropriates limited funds for humanitarian efforts, but more than $405 million to increase security along the border.
“As Congress works to address the large number of unaccompanied minors entering our country, I urge my Republican colleagues to look to programs like this as an alternative to the further militarization of the border. We need practical, commonsense solutions, not gridlock and partisanship.”
A copy of the letter can be found here.