Democratic Congress Members Visit Respite Center

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MCALLEN - 20 Democratic members of the U.S. Congress toured Valley immigration centers Saturday.

Their visit comes one day after Republican members of congress came to the Valley with Vice President Mike Pence.

Lawmakers from both parties were in the Valley following an Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General report that highlighted overcrowded conditions at immigrant detention centers.

The McAllen Respite Center was one of the stops by Democratic congress members.

Sister Norma Pimentel, Director of Catholic Charities, said she is seeing a decrease in migrants compared to last week.

Maria Carolina Ayala de Recinos crossed into the U.S. illegally three days ago. She says, "it's dangerous in Mexico, and the border of Mexico and Guatamala (has) a lot of Mexican Navy."

Congressman Vicente Gonzalez says Mexico's National Guard has had an impact on the immigration crisis.

Democratic lawmakers also toured an immigration facility in Mexico.

Across the border hundreds of asylum hopefuls wait for a chance to legally come into the United States. 

Congressman Filemon Vela said, "They're having to wait for very long periods of time before being able to present their asylum claims. And, the conditions that they explained that they're having to live through on the other side of the border are deteriorating."

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