U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, who represents most of Hidalgo County, has introduced a bill which would amend the U.S. Code to allow an officer or employee of the U.S. government to accept outside donations for detained children and families, according to a news release.
The Charity and Relief in Disarray and Distress (CARIDAD) Act would change the existing U.S. policy, which prohibits governmental employees from accepting donations of goods outside of what Congress appropriates.
“We have a moral obligation to process these migrants in a sanitary and safe environment,” said Gonzalez in a press release. “Our fellow Americans have stepped up and we should empower them to assist their fellow man. This legislation would remove existing barriers and allow them to do that.”
Recent reports at U.S. Customs and Border Patrol facilities have found migrants and children living in dirty and vulnerable environments. Following these reports, volunteers began donating supplies to migrants in detention facilities, but were turned away because of current federal law.
“Caridad” is also the Spanish word for “charity.”