Border patrol under fire for refusing donations for migrant kids, but there’s a legal reason it had to decline

Two tents recently erected at a U.S. Border Patrol facility in El Paso … Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

The Texas Tribune has reported that a Border Patrol facility near El Paso is not accepting donations for migrant children being held there.

According to the publication, at least one small group of local citizens arrived at the facility on Sunday with a load of toys, diapers, medicine, and toiletries that they purchased from Target but that the lobby was closed.

A group of friends that included local resident Austin Savage were concerned by recent news stories that detailed overcrowding, illness, and substandard care at the facility, so they brought donations they said were worth about $340, as reported by the Tribune. They group said that several Border Patrol agents moving in and out of a parking facility “ignored them.”

“A good friend of mine is an immigration attorney, and he warned us that we were going to get rejected,” Savage told the Tribune. “We were aware of that, but it’s just the idea of doing something as opposed to passively allowing this to occur.”

It’s certainly a sad tale, though most reasonable folks would not use the word “rejected” to characterize a government lobby being closed on a Sunday.

Savage told the Tribune at that time he planned to return to the Clint facility Monday with the diapers, wipes, soaps, and toys, but he would be going with low expectations. “We imagine they will reject it,” he said.

Democrat Rep. Terry Canales of Texas tweeted on Saturday that the Border Patrol told his office they do not accept donations.

Media outlets have reached out to Customs and Border Protection for comment on the donations policy.

On Monday, NBC reported that hundreds of children were removed from the Flint facility and transferred to another El Paso Border Patrol tent camp. Approximately 30 kids are believed to remain at the Flint station, which has a capacity of about 100 people in normal times.

The border crisis continues to get worse, while Dems in Congress dither and play politics. This week, a funding bill to appropriate a $4.5 billion emergency spending package is being debated within the Democrat ranks. Among other things, the bill presently is intended to create more holding capacity and deliver more supplies for illegals stopped at the border.

Meanwhile, the radical left is exploiting the border crisis for their own gains, trying to paint the Border Patrol and the administration in such atrocious terms as characterizing border detention facilities as “concentration camps.”

In spite of never having visited the southern border and refusing offers to visit actual concentration camp museums in Europe, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar are leading the effort to use familiar polarization tactics to galvanize opposition to actually solve the crisis.

While there was no response from anyone within the Border Patrol on the refusal of the gifts, Theresa Brown, a former policy advisor for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said there were legal reasons the donations were turned away.

“It’s partially a constitutional thing about Congress controlling the purse and only being able to spend money that Congress gives, but it’s also about ethics,” she said, according to the Texas Tribune.

Brown cited the Antideficiency Act, which forbids government agencies from spending or accepting money or donations other then what is allocated by Congress.

“Without a change in law, DHS, CPB and Border Patrol cannot accept those private donations,” she said.

Brown said the law is designed to keep the government from becoming beholden to private-sector entities, according to the Tribune.

As BPR reported, acting Customs and Border Safety Commissioner John Sanders made the unexpected announcement that he’d be stepping down.

It’s was not clear if the reports of poorly run detention centers had anything to do with his decision. It is also, at this time, unclear what his next position will be.



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