Rep. Swalwell to vist immigrant holding facilities in Texas

One Bay Area congressman wants to see for himself what conditions are like at the holding facilities for undocumented immigrants in Texas.
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Tensions over the immigration crisis are growing. A group of angry protesters blocked three buses in Southern California Tuesday as they were trying to bring undocumented immigrants to a border processing station.

One Bay Area congressman is heading to Texas to see for himself what conditions are like at those holding facilities. Dublin Democrat Eric Swalwell will also participate in a Homeland Security field hearing with Texas Governor Rick Perry. Swalwell says he wants to see first-hand what's happening with those immigrant children in Texas.

"I'm going to go in one of the facilities in the Rio Grande Valley where about 300 to 400 children a day are crossing the border and being processed by our border patrol," he said.

Like many people, Swalwell is disturbed by images of children who've survived harrowing train rides only to be taken into custody and put in crowded and difficult conditions in the United States. More than 52,000 unaccompanied children have been picked up along the southern border in the past year, most from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.

But while many can agree this is a tenuous situation, there is little consensus on what to do about it. "It is a very sad situation that we're dealing with," says Mark Meuser, member of the executive committee of the Contra Costa Republican Party.

Asked if he sees any path for any of them to stay in the United States Meusuer said, "In this case, you have to do it on a case by case. If we can find the families of these children we probably need to return them to their families."

Swalwell believes those children who can be safely returned to their home countries should be, but that is a long and complicated process. "Our immigration system right now is broken and there's great, great uncertainty. And so I think that having a system that has certainty that includes not just security, but a process in which people can migrate here to the United States and get onto a pathway to citizenship," he told ABC7 News.

President Obama said this week that he will take executive action -- without involving Congress -- to try to solve the immigration crisis along the southern border.
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