Sen. Merkley urges Trump administration to end border camps for asylum seekers

Senator Merkley made a trip to the US- Mexico border this weekend, leading a group of legislators to see firsthand the families being held in government camps.

He describes thousands waiting in hopes of having their asylum claims to be heard.

Merkley and other legislators held a press conference Saturday to call on the Trump administration to expedite the sponsor process, in which citizens house and care for migrant children as they wait for their asylum claims to be processed.

The administration agreed to do so, but Merkley hopes they’ll go a step further.

“The majority of those children in the prison camp in Tornillo, they’ve been there more than 20 days,” Merkley says. “They’re deeply traumatized. They don’t know when they’re going to be released, when they’re going to be able to go.”

At the request of the legislators, the Trump administration said they’ll consider a full shutdown of the camp in Tornillo, Texas.

Merkley also introduced a bill to create more congressional oversight for funding projects, after President Trump diverted funding from FEMA to the border camps.

If passed, the Transparency in Federal Funding Act would require House and Senate appropriation committees to be informed of all funding transfers made within and between agencies, as well as require public transparency, including an online public database.