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No time to play politics at the border

There is a crisis at the U.S. southern border. Regardless of whom you think is responsible, Central American immigrants seeking asylum have been coming north in record numbers, and many of them have been trying to cross the border illegally. It has led to tragedies, illustrated most recently by the picture of the Salvadoran father and his two-year-old daughter, lying on the bank of the Rio Grande, drowned after they were swept away by the strong current near Brownsville.

The plight of hundreds of immigrant children being held in inadequate facilities near El Paso has also pushed this crisis to the forefront of American consciousness. Children being forced to take care of other children, inadequate food, showers, sleeping quarters — we should be better than that.

This past week Congress passed a $4.6 billion bill to rush aid to the border. The House had passed a Democratic-favored bill limiting what the money could be used for and putting conditions on the Trump administration’s policies. The Republican-controlled Senate passed its version at odds with much of what the House wanted, and the bills were in danger of sitting there doing no one any good while Congress left for its 4th of July recess.

Fortunately, the House reversed itself and passed the Senate version, sending the bill to President Trump before funding for border operations ran out.

We’re glad they did so. Getting money where it needs to go to help refugees at the border should take priority over who gets to decide how it is spent.

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