A new bill may eventually allow federal facilities to accept donations of soap, diapers and other supplies for detained migrants.
According to Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Anti-deficiency Act prevents federal agencies from accepting donations outside of what Congress has set aside.
But Republican Congressman Chip Roy, whose district includes San Antonio wants to modify that.
“The initial act is to make sure the American people are not pumping money into the federal government other than through taxes and normal structure of government, but what it’s preventing here by happenstance is the ability of the American people to step up,” Roy said.
His Charitable Donations Freedom Act would amend the law so that people could freely donate to help the children being held within these detention facilities.
“You know it’s the American way. We saw in the wake of Harvey and in this case, there are migrants both legitimately and illegitimately seeking to come to the United States, but when we’ve got human beings in custody we want to make sure they’ve got everything that they need, and frankly our system is overwhelmed,” Roy said.
Roy said his bill would ensure gifted supplies to detained migrants are no longer included among the list of prohibited donations.
Ryan Poppe can be reached at RPoppe@TPR.org and on Twitter at @RyanPoppe1.