House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will visit with the migrant children being detained along the Texas border this weekend as part of a tour of the region where a surge of unaccompanied minors have been caught trying to enter the country illegally.
The top California Democrat will see the children being held at the South Texas Detention Facility Saturday and be briefed by Customs and Border Protection on the massive influx of kids who have fled to the U.S. from their home countries, primarily from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
“The humanitarian crisis unfolding across our nation’s southern border demands Congress come together and find thoughtful, compassionate and bipartisan solutions,” Pelosi said in a statement. “We must ensure our laws are fully enforced, so that due process is provided to unaccompanied children and the safety and well-being of unaccompanied children is protected. We must also work to address the root causes of the problem.”
Pelosi will be joined by fellow congressional Democrats representing the House Homeland Security Committee and Congressional Hispanic Caucus, including Reps. Filemon Vela and Ruben Hinojosa of Texas, and Steven Horsford of Nevada.
The announcement of the leader’s trip comes after Pelosi sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, pressing him on the House’s legislative inaction on comprehensive immigration reform.
“For the sake of our national security, for the sake of vulnerable children, I urge you to proceed with a bipartisan process that produces meaningful solutions,” Pelosi wrote, “I hope you will treat this matter with the seriousness and the consideration it deserves.”
The Department of Homeland Security estimates that more than 52,000 children have been swept up along the southwestern border since October. Those numbers may swell to 90,000 children this year alone.