December 13, 2018 600 AM
gifts for detained
children in Tornillo
extended to Friday
EL PASO – The office of Far West Texas State Senator José Rodríguez, D-El Paso, has extended the deadline to 5 pm this Friday for anyone who wants to help with the senator’s coordinating of a “Gifts for Good” drive for the youth in the Tornillo detention center, which currently holds 2,400 children.
Rodriguez, whose district includes Presidio, Jeff Davis, Culberson, Hudspeth, and El Paso counties, said, “Many from the district have asked how they can help and now the community has an opportunity. The children are not allowed visitors, gifts of any kind, or even hugs. However, for this holiday season, our office has received permission to provide a gift of a soccer ball to each of the children.”
To join Rodriguez’s office and bring a smile to a child, order from a preselected wish list of soccer balls, which can be found at [https://w.amazon.com/registry/giftlist/FPNPSE2W7QS/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_gm__wl].There is no limit to the number of gifts that a person can sponsor. All gifts must be shipped to the District Office, which is at 100 N. Ochoa Street, Suite A, El Paso, TX 79901. For questions call Rodriguez’s office at 915-351-3500
“The holidays are a time of the year where most people enjoy spending time with their families. These youths have been away from their families for who knows how long. We hope these gifts bring some holiday cheer,” the senator said.
Cruz, Cornyn, Hurd
introduce bill to
help border counties
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Reps. Will Hurd (R-Texas), and Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas) this week introduced the Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains Act of 2018, a bill to help local jurisdictions improve the recording and reporting of missing persons and unidentified remains found along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Communities in Texas and all along our southern border have experienced firsthand the human tragedy of illegal immigration,” Sen. Cruz said. “I am proud to join with my colleagues to ensure our local law enforcement officials are equipped with the forensic equipment and resources they need to identify remains found on the border, and solve cases of missing persons.”
“Our border communities have experienced the very real consequences of the treacherous journey travelled by many seeking to come to this country,” said Sen. Cornyn. “My hope is that this bill will help local communities identify those who have gone missing, process unidentified remains, and invest in forensic equipment to provide closure to families in the United States and abroad.”
“Until we address the root causes of mass migration flows from Central America, individuals individuals will continue to make the perilous journey north,” said Hurd, who represents more of the U.S.-Mexico border than any other Member of Congress. “This bipartisan bill helps prevent tragic deaths along the border by expanding CBP’s rescue and apprehension capabilities. In addition, it mitigates the burdens placed on state and local governments to identify perished individuals with the dignity they deserve. I am proud to join my fellow Texans Rep. Gonzalez and Sen. Cornyn in providing a solution for this very real challenge faced by law enforcement agencies across my district.”
“Our nation has a chance to put more resources into helping identify the remains of missing persons, and to bring closure to families who know not whether to grieve, or continue the search,” Congressman Gonzalez said. “This piece of legislation would provide much-needed resources directed at finding answers for families across the U.S. Southwest Border. Passing this bill will help our ranchers and farmers, our counties, and our local sheriffs. I thank Congressman Hurd and Senator Cornyn for coming together to craft this bipartisan and bicameral piece of legislation.” The Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains Act of 2018:
· Expands eligibility to apply for grants under Jennifer’s Law to state and local governments, accredited government-funded CODIS forensic laboratories, medical examiners, accredited publicly-funded toxicology, crime, and university forensic anthropology center laboratories, and non-profit organizations that work with state and county forensic offices for entry of data into CODIS of NamUS;
· Authorizes use of grant funds to cover costs incurred since FY17 for transportation, processing, identification, and reporting of missing persons and unidentified remains; of hiring additional DNA case analysts and technicians, fingerprint examiners, and forensic odontologists and anthropologists needed to support identification efforts; of purchasing state-of-the-art forensic and DNA-typing and analytical equipment; Adds privacy protections for biological family reference samples uploaded into CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) by precluding disclosure of such information to Federal or state law enforcement agencies for law enforcement purposes; Expands CBP’s legal authority to purchase and deployment of up to 170 self-powering 9-1-1 cellular relay rescue beacons to mitigate migrant deaths on the southern border; Requires reporting to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and the National and Missing Unidentified Persons System (NamUS) regarding missing persons and deceased individuals found in each applicant’s jurisdiction; Adds reporting requirements for the NamUS Program regarding the number of unidentified person cases, anthropology cases, suspected border crossing cases, and associations made; and adds reporting requirements for CBP and GAO on unidentified remains and use of rescue beacons.