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Lawmakers call for Department of Homeland Security to accept soap, diaper donations

July 02, 2019

Some lawmakers are calling for the Department of Homeland Security to accept donations of goods such as soap and diapers from charitable organizations for migrant children who are currently being held at border detention facilities.

In a letter written to Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan this week, Senate Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) asked the secretary to accept donations.

This letter follows President Donald Trump’s Monday signing of an $4.6 billion emergency border spending bill that would fund agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security, such as Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to address the border crisis.

“Many Americans, however, also want to provide more direct and tangible help,” Cruz wrote in the letter. “They want to donate basic items such as diapers and toothbrushes to children in CBP custody. This desire is laudable, and deeply rooted in our nation’s history. Americans have long banded together to form charities and faith-based organizations to aid those in need.”

“I thus urge you to establish and publicize a process for accepting donations from charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, and NGOs to aid individuals in CBP custody,” Cruz continued. “Even with the additional supplemental emergency funding, I am confident that DHS and CBP can still use the generosity of the American people to help manage the humanitarian crisis on our border.”

Last week, Representative Chip Roy (R-Tx.) introduced a bill that would allow DHS to accept donated supplies.

Due to the Antideficiency Act, which was intended to prevent government from being behold or influenced by private-sector entities while conducting government funded activities, government agencies are not allowed to spend any money or accept any donations that Congress has not allocated to them.

Representative Roy’s proposal seeks to amend a section of the Antideficiency Act so that the term “voluntary services” would not include donating goods.

– MK. II

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