July 12, 2014

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Congressional Report

Dear Friends,

Every week, I send you an update on my latest work in Washington and Texas.  Please read about a few of my recent activities below and make sure to share any thoughts you may have with me on my Facebook or Twitter pages.

Latest Update on Border Immigration Crisis

More than once over the past two months, I have toured the Border Patrol facility in South Texas & the HHS facility at Lackland AFB where undocumented, immigrant children are being processed. As a family man and father myself, the sight of hundreds of children alone, scared, and far away from home was a powerful and moving experience. Visiting one on one with some of the children, such as nine year old Emilia from Honduras and 14 year old Miguel from El Salvador, and hearing their stories left a deep impression. Congress needs to take immediate action to address this humanitarian crisis that also has homeland security implications.  More than one third of the young girls who arrive to our country through dangerous criminal networks are victimized during their more than thousand mile journey. 

In June, more than 47,000 immigrants without legal status were apprehended at the border, and more than 9,700 of these were unaccompanied children. It is clear to me after extensive conversations with the men and women who protect our southern border that a legislative fix is necessary. 

That is why we need to find a bipartisan legislative solution to amend the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 to ensure that unaccompanied children from all Latin American countries are treated humanely, while preserving the security of our borders.

An amendment to Section 235 of the TVPRA of 2008 would allow for the timely and safe removal of UACs from non-contiguous countries, as it allows for the timely and safe removal of UACs from contiguous countries.  This process should maintain all the safeguards built in to the TVPRA of 2008 relating to screening to ensure the child has not and will not be a victim of trafficking, have a credible fear of returning to their country and are able to make an independent decision to withdraw their application and return to their country.       
This legislative fix is not the final step in addressing the influx of undocumented immigrants but it is an important step.  I have and will continue to call for a policy change to address this crisis and will continue to advocate for more engagement with our international partners and more support for border enforcement efforts. It is imperative that we support our international partners like Mexico in securing their southern border so that we are not defending our border from the one-yard line. I was glad to see this past week that President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico met with President of Guatemala to discuss securing Mexico’s southern border.  As a member of the House Appropriations Committee we have taken initial to provide resources for Mexico to secure its border with Guatemala. I support providing additional funding to address this humanitarian crisis at the southern border.  This is a national crisis that requires immediate action.  

I also appeared live from the border in Laredo on CNN's State of the Union on Sunday to discuss the immigration crisis.  Please watch my interview here: 

​Rep. Cuellar speaks to CNN's State of the Union on the immigration crisis at the border and his views on what should be done. 

Groundbreaking of New Drainage Project on Ebony St in Roma

​Rep. Cuellar joins the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development and the City of Roma to break ground on a new drainage project in Roma, Texas that received $6.2 million in federal funds.  

Last week, I joined the United States Department of Agriculture to break ground on a $6.2 million federally funded project to renovate the Ebony Street drainage system in Roma. These Rural Development funds will be used for storm drainage construction to correct major flooding to residents in the area on Ebony Road. This will improve community access, as well as improve safety and health by stabilizing existing unpaved roadway.

I would like to congratulate the city of Roma for beginning this infrastructure update that will greatly benefit the community. My office has been working with the city of Roma and the U.S. Department of Agriculture for many years and I would like to thank USDA Rural Development State Director Paco Valentin, as well as Mayor Guerra. 

Border Economic Competitiveness Forum in Laredo 

​Rep. Cuellar joined officials from the Mexican states of Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, and Coahuila for a discussion at the Border Economic Competitiveness Forum on how we can strengthen our important trading partnership with Mexico.  

Last week, I spoke at the Regional Border Economic Competitiveness Forum where I was joined by representatives of the Mexican states Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon and Coahuila, as well as officials of the Border Legislative Conference.  The Forum focused on education and workplace competitiveness, ports of entry and the future of energy in the border region.  

Mexico is our third largest trading partner and an important destination for US goods.  It is vital for the public and private sectors in this region to partner together to strengthen our relationship with Mexico.  

Restaurant Ribbon Cutting in Mission

​My outreach coordinator for Hidalgo County, Nichole Hernandez, joined the Mission Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting of Alejandro's Mexican restaurant.  I am committed to supporting local businesses and congratulate these entrepreneurs on their exciting new step.

My outreach coordinator for Hidalgo County, Nichole Hernandez, joined the Mission Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting of Alejandro's Mexican Restaurant.  I want to congratulate this successful local business on embarking on a new step that will benefit the community and I wish them the best of luck.  

Northeast Lakeview College Community Listening Session 

​Pete Arguello, my outreach coordinator for Bexar County, participated in Northeast Lakeview College's first Community Listening Session and met with constituents to discuss how my office can help support education in Bexar County.  

Pete Arguello, my outreach coordinator for Bexar County, attended Northeast Lakeview College’s first Community Listening Session. This was the first of five sessions the college will be hosting throughout northeast Bexar and the surrounding counties. The sessions are a forum for citizens and community stakeholders to share ideas on the current state of education and the area workforce, and where we can target our focus for the future.  Pete represented my office at the event and spoke to constituents about ways we can help support education in the community.  

If you have any comments, don't forget to visit my Facebook or Twitter pages to share them with me.  I look forward to hearing from you! 



The House of Representatives is in session next week 

Neighborhood Office Hours  

Tuesday, July 15th 


Poth City Hall
200 North Carroll

Floresville City Hall
1120 D Street

La Salle County Offices 
Court House Square
Cotulla, TX 

Encinal City Hall
107 North Tejas

City Hall Conference Room
2 1/2 Miles, South Farm Road 2360
La Grulla, Texas

City Hall 4851 East Highway 83
Escobares, Texas 

Rio Grande City City Hall
101 Washington Street

Roma Community Center
502 6th Street

Thursday, July 17th 

St. Hedwig City Hall
13065 FM 1346

La Vernia City Hall
102 East Chihuahua 

Sutherland Spring 

El Cenizo City Hall
507 Cadena St 

Rio Bravo City Hall
1701 Centeno Lane

Starr County Warehouse 
Building Precinct 4
FM 755 (La Gloria)
San Isidro, Texas

Starr County Self Help Center
10 Mayorga Street
Rio Grande City, Texas 
(La Casita) 

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