By Mike DeBonis and Erica Werner

The Washington Post

Children moved back into emptied border station — At the border station in Clint, Texas, that has become the center of debate over President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, a chaotic shuffle of migrant children continued Tuesday as more than 100 were moved back into a facility that days earlier had been emptied in the midst of criticism that young detainees there were hungry, crying and unwashed. “We’ve dipped far below the standard of care into the realms of just utter darkness,” said state Rep. Terry Canales, D-Texas, who contacted Border Patrol officials to ask what he and his staff could do to help.

Deportation champion tapped for CBP chief — Turmoil intensified Tuesday inside the agency responsible for securing the nation’s borders as a top official was replaced by an immigration hard-liner and former Fox News contributor who last week pushed for nationwide deportations. That hard-liner, Mark Morgan, will take over as the head of Customs and Border Protection in July, administration officials said Tuesday. The move again overhauls leadership at the Department of Homeland Security, an agency that is responsible for cybersecurity, disaster relief and enforcing customs, border and immigration law, and that has already been destabilized by a purge of officials just two months ago.

—Bulletin wire reports

The House passed a $4.5 billion emergency border aid bill Tuesday, one containing provisions for the treatment of migrant children in U.S. custody that Democratic leaders added amid widespread anger in their ranks over President Donald Trump’s handling of the crisis.

The 230-to-195 largely party-line vote followed a flurry of last-minute negotiations among Democrats who said they have been horrified by reports of poor conditions at overcrowded U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities where unaccompanied children have been kept. The bill’s passage sets up a high-stakes negotiation with Trump and Senate Republicans to deliver aid days before a looming deadline.

The backdrop for the vote is not only the humanitarian concerns about the surging numbers of migrants but also Trump’s threats — delayed but not canceled Saturday — to begin a mass deportation of illegal immigrant families. Democratic lawmakers have expressed concerns about passing a border aid bill that would not address both of those issues.

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., unveiled changes to the bill Tuesday morning that would require the CBP to establish new health and safety standards for migrants in its custody, as well as protocols for dealing with migrant surges, within 30 days. The changes would also limit children’s stays at “influx shelters” used by the Department of Health and Human Services to no more than 90 days and require the department to report to Congress on their use.

Additional changes Lowey unveiled Tuesday afternoon would bar HHS shelter contractors who do not provide adequate accommodations, food and personal items, such as toothbrushes, as well as routine medical care, schooling, leisure activities, and other basic services.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., who pushed for the final revisions as a co-chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said she had “tremendous apprehensions” about voting to fund the Trump administration’s border response but said she was prepared do so to improve conditions for migrant children.

“I don’t even know how to describe the idea that we have to tell them: You’ve got to provide food and water to these kids,” she said. “But that’s what we’re doing.”

Senate legislation

The White House announced it was opposed to the bill Monday, and House GOP leaders said they favor a competing bipartisan bill that passed the Senate Appropriations Committee on a 30-to-1 vote last week.

But Republicans are not entirely united behind the Senate compromise. Two conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus, Louie Gohmert of Texas and Mark Meadows of North Carolina, went to the White House on Tuesday to lobby Trump to push Democrats for more concessions.

“I’m telling him it could be better,” Gohmert said of the Senate bill Tuesday.

Trump has previously reversed course on key legislation — most notably, a December funding bill that would have averted what became a 35-day federal government shutdown. But a senior GOP lawmaker who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe talks with the White House said Republican leaders are not concerned Trump will withdraw support for the Senate deal.

The two chambers now have only two days to spare before lawmakers are set to leave Washington for a weeklong holiday recess. The HHS has warned Congress the agency will exhaust its funding for housing migrant children at the end of the month — a scenario that would impede efforts to move them out of Border Patrol facilities.

The Senate is poised to vote this week on its own $4.6 billion emergency spending bill, which includes $2.88 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services to address the large numbers of unaccompanied children arriving at the border. Through May, nearly 51,000 children have been referred to the HHS since the fiscal year began in October, an increase of almost 60% compared with the same period last year.

The Senate bill does not contain most of the strictures that House Democrats are demanding to ensure humane treatment of migrant children in U.S. custody. The Senate bill also includes $50 million more than the House measure for immigration judges to speed the adjudication of asylum claims, as well as $61 million in back pay for Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

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