Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-46), senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee and member of the Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee, today introduced H.R. 5261, the Central American and USA (CAUSA) Initiatives Act. More than 50,000 children fleeing extreme violence in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have been apprehended at the U.S.’s southern border since October of last year. This situation is a humanitarian crisis, with children as young as five making the dangerous journey to the United States. The bill would help address the current crisis by coordinating better with Central American countries and improving U.S. short term detention standards.
“The influx of unaccompanied minors at our southern border is a humanitarian crisis that demands comprehensive solutions,” said Rep. Sanchez. “This bill will take actions I have long advocated for including assisting Mexico to secure its southern border and making our short term detention standards more humane and reflective of American values.”
Rep. Sanchez’s bill would require the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate with Mexican officials to set up a plan to secure Mexico’s southern border by providing an overview of the technology in use at Mexico’s southern border and describe methods for humane repatriation in coordination with NGOs. The bill also directs the Department of Homeland Security to establish minimum standards for individuals apprehended between ports of entry as well as halt night time repatriation and repatriations to areas designated as unsafe or violent.