WASHINGTON D.C. (Nexstar) — Packed into a makeshift hearing room in the Capitol Visitor Center, Senate Democrats recalled their recent trips to the U.S. southern border.
‘This is a serious, serious crisis,” U.S. Sen. Tom Udall said. “I’ve seen very bad conditions, inhumane conditions. I’ve seen children separated from families, children very upset.”
The New Mexico senator and fellow Democratic colleagues heard from Hope Frye, who works directly with the migrant children
“The children we saw were filthy, wearing the same mud-caked clothes in which they traveled. Ending the unnecessary detention of children must be Congress’ highest priority,” said Frye, the executive director of Project Lifeline.
But, noticeably absent in the room were Republicans. Typically, hearings are held by committees chaired by the majority Republican Party. Democrats say they asked for a hearing on this topic and the Republicans refused.
A Texan Republican, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn said he blames Democrats for congressional inaction.
“I can only hope that this trip that our Democratic colleagues took convinced them it was time to quit playing games and get serious about finding a solution to the humanitarian crisis,” Cornyn said.
An Oklahoma Republican, Sen. Jim Inhofe said Congress should work to stop migrants from coming into the U.S. in the first place.
“We don’t have the resources to take care of unlimited people coming in to our country,” Inhofe said.
President Donald Trump extended an olive branch over the weekend. He tweeted that he is willing to meet with Democrats to discuss what they witnessed at the border.