LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - Representative Joaquin Castro came down to the gateway city for a look at the operations at the tent migrant processing facility to ensure migrants get their due process.
As a Texas Representative and Chairman of the Hispanic Caucus Committee, Castro is no stranger to issues involving migrants. That's why he's doing his best to visit detention centers, juvenile shelters, and processing facilities like ours along the riverbank.
"Many of us have been very critical of this process, and today parts of what I saw affirmed that we have a broken asylum process and the Trump administration, I believe, has made it worse,” Representative Castro said. "These folks who are native Spanish speakers are being forced to fill out a very complex form in English. All six people that we saw today, none of them have attorneys. There was a translation, but they're sitting in front of a judge trying to make their case about why they should be allowed to stay, so they're overwhelmed by this judicial system."
The Laredo migrant processing tent facility continues to see low numbers according to Congressman Henry Cuellar. He says Central Americans are not showing up for their court dates, so they mostly saw people from Venezuela and Cuba.
According to Cuellar, more than 9,000 migrants are waiting in Nuevo Laredo for their court date, but what they're seeing is that less than half are actually showing up.
There are several changes that Castro would make in order to ensure this process is more humane, like making the forms in these migrants’ native language, or getting rid of the Migrant Protection Protocol all together.
"Just because you petition for asylum, just because you cross a border, doesn't make you less human or less of a person,” Representative Castro said.
Although this isn't his only stop, it's unclear what Castro will do with the information he gained from the visit.
Representative Joaquin Castro says he's setting his sights on visiting other processing centers in the valley.