After spending a few hours in Juarez, El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke shared his thoughts and experiences with us after getting to know families looking to get asylum.
“Every person that we met had a number written on permanent marker written on their wrist that describes their place in line,” O’Rourke shared.
The Congressman met these families while visiting Casa De Migrantes in Juarez.
“We just met a mother who is traveling with a 20 month old child from Guatemala all the way here, took her about a month to get here. And now she’s going to wait an undefined period of time. Maybe 4 or 5 days she is hearing before she is able to lawfully request asylum here,” O’Rourke said.
According to O’Rourke, most of these families come from Central America and have been waiting for days to reach what they see as the promised land.
“In every case they’re feeling violence, they’re fleeing for the best interest for their kids. They’re doing their best to follow our laws and be patient with this process. I think it’s in our interest as a country to process their request as expeditiously as possible so that they can get with family members here or at least start the process petitioning for asylum,” O’Rourke explained.
While meeting and seeing for himself their living condition, O’Rourke said he hopes to invest more at the port of entry rather than building barriers.
“We can make sure that we’re staffing these ports of entry, supplying border patrol with the resources, the expertise, and the qualified personnel who can help these families and especially these young children, in their moment of need,” O’Rourke said.
The Congressman and several other Senators are set to visit Tent City in Tornillo on Saturday morning. He will then bring back updates on what he’s seen and share the message back with his colleagues in Congress.