EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) — El Paso Rep. Veronica Escobar is responding to accusations of sending her staff to Ciudad Juarez to teach asylum seekers how to exploit and work around the “Remain in Mexico” policy.
Escobar said that is untrue and calls those false allegations a diversion from rising tensions with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency.
Escobar said she and her staff have been working with El Paso lawyers who have clients seeking asylum, and have been sent back to Mexico in violation of CBP’s policy.
“It’s no coincidence I think that these false allegations are coming on the heels of the fact that there’s this secret Facebook page. It is an effort to intimidate me to prevent me and my staff from performing one of our fundamental functions which is oversight of the government that we fund,” said Escobar.
Escobar said that when working with the lawyers, she has their clients fill out a privacy release forms so that her office can help them out.
That form was leaked and Escobar said it is the center of the allegation.
"Lawyers are coming to us and saying, hey my client is in Ciudad Juarez, was MMP'd over there....they meet the criteria for vulnerable population, they shouldn't be sent back to Mexico, but CBP, Border Patrol sent them back anyway," she said.
Escobar said she is working on legislation to come up with a homeland security act for better transparency and oversight.
KFOX 14 asked some, how they feel about her efforts to help asylum-seekers.
"Help people that really need it, not people just coming here to do bad for us,” said one El Pasoan.
"Direct the funds if there are funds, to advocates...have them help them out,” said Keymo Santana.
Escobar said since those allegations came to light, she and her staff have received multiple threats.