Speaker Pelosi to visit McAllen this weekend

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is scheduled to bring a bipartisan Congressional delegation to McAllen this weekend following the group’s trip to three Central American countries, which began Thursday when they landed in Guatemala.

The visit from Pelosi and other members of Congress comes just weeks after a flurry of other high-profile visits, such as Vice President Mike Pence one week and a group of 15 Democratic senators led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer the next week.

The visitors have toured the Border Patrol’s migrant detention center and observed overcrowding, and government officials said Pelosi’s group is expected to tour the same facility in McAllen.

Pelosi is also scheduled to tour the migrant respite center in downtown McAllen, which Schumer and his delegation visited. Joining Pelosi on the trip to Central America and to McAllen is U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo. U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, is also expected to join Pelosi in McAllen.

Officials in McAllen have fielded various high-profile Congressional visits in recent years, including one by President Donald Trump in January, and Pence made his own trip in 2018. After the Trump administration began separating migrant families at the southern border, dozens of U.S. senators and representatives traveled to the Rio Grande Valley, where more migrants cross the border than anywhere else.

Ahead of Pelosi landing in McAllen this weekend, her group first stopped in Guatemala on Thursday. Honduras and El Salvador will be next, as the members of Congress seek to address some of the root causes from the large migrations from the so-called Northern Triangle countries.

“The Northern Triangle of Central America has seen unprecedented levels of migration to the U.S. due to extreme levels of violence, corruption, food insecurity, and lack of economic opportunities,” Cuellar said in a statement on Thursday. “To properly address the challenges El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala are facing, we need to strengthen our relationship and reaffirm our shared value with these countries.

“As a delegation, we will work together to creates strategies to improve security, economic development and governance in these countries.”