Two of Queens’ representatives on Capitol Hill are visiting Texas today as part of a bipartisan delegation to inspect the facilities where migrant children are being detained.
Congressman Tom Suozzi will be visiting the Tornillo Detention Facility along with Congresswoman Kathleen Rice of Long Island and four other Members of Congress to inspect the site where children, separated from their parents by immigration officials after having crossed the U.S./Mexico border, are being held.
“So many people have reached out to my office and to me personally to express their sadness, shock and dismay about what has gone on recently. I want to see firsthand what is happening to these families and how these children are being cared for. I will do everything I can to make sure these families are reunited and that this never happens again in the United States,” said Suozzi.
Late on Friday night, Congresswoman Grace Meng announced that she, too, would be heading to Texas to speak to children and parents who have been separated on the border. Along with other members of Congress, she is visiting the Port Isabel ICE Detention Center and the McAllen Border Patrol Station and Centralized Processing Center.
The Congressional delegation visit comes days after other elected officials across the United States, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, traveled to Tornillo to check the children being kept in the facilities and to protest President Donald Trump’s immigration policy.
Enacted in April under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the “zero tolerance” policy resulted in more than 2,000 children being separated from their parents after they had illegally crossed the Mexico border into the United States. Hundreds of the children have since been transferred to other facilities across the country, including a location in Manhattan.
After a public backlash, President Trump signed an executive order on June 20 ending the family separation policy, but there are many questions concerning when, or if, the separated children will be reunited with their families.
Meng is among those seeking more information from the president. She sent Trump a letter on June 21 asking for a statement explaining how the reunification process will take place.
This story was updated on June 23 at 10:20 a.m.