Skip to main content
Image
Photo: Sunrise in Texas

Pfluger Bill Prevents Another Biden Blindside

May 13, 2021

Washington, D.C. — Thursday, Congressman August Pfluger (TX-11) introduced H.R. 3174, the Migrant Facility Transparency Act. The legislation requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to coordinate with federal, state, and local officials before establishing temporary influx facilities for migrants, and allows localities to be involved in the final decision-making process for site selection.

“President Biden and his administration completely blindsided us when they set up an emergency intake facility for hundreds of unaccompanied minors essentially overnight in Midland,” said Congressman Pfluger. “Since that time, the communication and transparency from HHS has been dismal at best.

“My bill requires the federal government to coordinate with local communities before setting up future migrant holding sites. It ensures local officials are provided written notice at least a week in advance, and provides communities with the option to approve or deny site requests. Additionally, it guarantees communication between HHS and local leaders by requiring HHS to issue a daily report on the number of migrants at the facility, updates on health and security issues, and closure dates.

“Our local communities are bearing the brunt of the Biden Border Crisis. At the very least, we deserve the decency of transparent communication from the federal government.”

Background

Transparency Regarding Temporary Influx Facilities

Requires Health and Human Services to coordinate with federal, state, and local officials when selecting temporary influx facilities to house migrants. Additionally, it requires HHS to notify in writing any impacted community on final siting decision no fewer than 7 days in advance. It requires that written notification include:

  • Proposed scope of the operations for the facility
  • Strategy for termination of operations at the facility
  • Proposed date to end operations
  • Strategy to provide daily report to federal, state, and local officials:
    • Number of migrants at the facility
    • Staff to children ratios
    • Number of migrants processed in and out since previous report
    • Updates on health, security, and other issues at the facility

Once notification has been received, the chief executive local official will have the right of refusal for the location.

Finally, it requires HHS to notify federal, state, and local officials at least 7 calendars days before making changes to the scope of operations, termination date, or upon the occurrence of any major security or safety incident at the facility.

Federal, state, and local officials are defined as governor, state attorney general, county judge, mayor, chief prosecuting attorney of jurisdiction, local law enforcement officials, local health officials, and federal and state legislators.

Reporting to Congress

Requires the HHS to conduct a report to address internal and external protocols, requirements, and training for serious crimes alleged or found to have been committed at a temporary influx facility, including sexual misconduct, sexual abuse, and sexual assault. If HHS fails to produce the report within 14 days of enactment, all processing activities at all temporary influx facilities shall be paused until all reports are submitted to Congress.

Issues:Congress