Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) is leading a bipartisan pack of lawmakers in questioning the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on why U.S. Customs and Borders Patrol (CBP) is prohibited from accepting private donations.
Penning a letter to acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan on Tuesday, Crenshaw was joined by 16 other Republican and Democratic colleagues in questioning why CBP migrant processing centers aren’t allowed to accept donations from private citizens, nonprofits, and businesses.
While laying out numerous questions to seek clarification on the prohibition, the letter cites a possible exemption to the Antideficiency Act and reads:
“Given the dramatic increase in apprehensions at the border and the corresponding strain at processing centers, it seems the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and CBP may be able to accept voluntary services intended to provide for migrant children.”
“Congress must work together for a long-term solution, but in the interim, we can work in a bipartisan fashion to find ways to provide relief for migrants and CBP,” Crenshaw said in a statement. “America is a generous country and we should be able to continue that tradition, especially when the circumstances welcome it.”
Crenshaw also told Fox News that, in the case of humanitarian aid, the donations should be legal.
“Americans do want to help,” he said. “… So let’s make it easier. Let’s help get the resources that we need down there. Instead of demonizing our men and women who work at DHS, let’s help them.”
See Crenshaw’s comments below:
A bipartisan group joined me in asking DHS for clarity on the ban of private donations and what would be needed to temporarily waive it. We need a long-term solution, but in the interim we can work together to provide relief.
— Rep. Dan Crenshaw (@RepDanCrenshaw) July 3, 2019
As IJR Red previously reported, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also wrote a letter to McAleenan on Monday about the DHS and CBP currently lacking procedures to accept donations from Americans through “charities and faith-based organizations.” He urged them to “establish and publicize a process” to accept the donations.
“Even with the additional supplemental emergency funding, I am confident that DHS and CBP can still use the generosity of the American people to help manage the humanitarian crisis on our border,” Cruz wrote.