Washington, DC—Below is a statement by U.S. Conference of Mayors President, Columbia (SC) Mayor Steve Benjamin, on the current immigration crisis:

“Our nation is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis along the Southern border, and it is spreading to cities across the nation.   While the crisis is most serious in El Paso, where federal and local authorities have neither the resources nor the facilities to handle the current influx of asylum seekers and other immigrants, it is being felt as far away as Central Falls, RI where ICE is sending more than 200 detainees to be housed in a local jail.  We stand with El Paso Mayor Dee Margo, Central Falls Mayor James Diossa and the mayors of all of the cities that have been impacted by this crisis and who must respond to it.

“In the short term, Congress needs to provide emergency funding to support federal and local agencies as they try to accommodate the increasing number of people crossing the border and requesting asylum.  In the long term, Congress and the Administration need to get to the root of the problem and fix our broken immigration system.”