Congressman Gonzalez Introduces the CARIDAD Act to Allow Donations to Children and Families in Federal Facilities
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) introduced H.R. 3653, the Charity and Relief in Disarray and Distress (CARIDAD) Act, 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. Existing U.S. policy, the Antideficiency Act, prohibits governmental employees from accepting donations of goods outside of what Congress appropriates.
Americans across the country were horrified by family separations and recent reports of disturbing conditions at border detention facilities. Their reaction: mobilize to collect necessary supplies and resources. Congressman Gonzalez heard about detention facilities rejecting these donations and filed the CARIDAD Act to allow personnel at these facilities to accept the generous donations of the American people to help those in need.
“As the leader of the free world, we have a moral obligation to process these migrants in a sanitary and safe environment,” said Congressman Gonzalez. “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. All humans, no matter who they are, have the right to be treated with decency and respect.”
“Caridad” is the Spanish word for “charity.” Recent reports at U.S. Customs and Border Patrol facilities have found migrants and children living in cruel and appalling environments. At a Customs and Border Protection facility in Clint, Texas, lawyers declared the conditions a “public health emergency.” One pediatrician described the conditions for migrant children, exposed to meager food, inadequate sleeping arrangements, hazardous overcrowding and rough treatment by agents as “torture.” Following the reports of inadequate supplies for migrants and children, volunteers arrived with donations only to be turned away because of current federal law.