Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus blasted Thursday's passage of a bipartisan $4.5 billion border funding bill, calling it a "betrayal of our American values."
A coalition of House Democrats and Republicans came together to approve the legislation, which now goes to President Trump's desk for his signature.
"This bill – opposed by the Hispanic Caucus and nearly 100 Democratic members of the House -- will not stop the Trump administration’s chaos and cruelty," a caucus statement said. "It will not stop the abuse and detention of children. It will not stop the rampant human rights abuses in government custody. It will not stop the Trump administration from tearing families apart and turning away asylum-seekers. As a result, migrants will continue to die."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi backed away from immigration enforcement restrictions that many progressive Democrats wanted included in the bill, risking backlash from within her own party. The Republican-controlled Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill Wednesday in an 84-8 vote after rejecting an earlier House version backed by progressive and Hispanic lawmakers.
The Trump administration has been on the defensive amid reports of unsanitary and overcrowded conditions inside detention centers. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., stirred controversy when she compared migrant detention centers to concentration camps.
Democrats wanted measures to ensure the health and safety of those in custody and an $81 million reduction in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) funding. Pressure has been ramped up on lawmakers as reports of neglect and mistreatment of detained children have surfaced.
In a border facility in Clint, Texas, more than 300 infants and children were reportedly housed in harsh conditions. Many children cared for each other without access to adequate food, water and sanitation.
“When the Congressional Hispanic Caucus members see suffering at the border, we see our children and our grandchildren," the CHC continued. "What happened today is unacceptable, and we will not forget this betrayal. Moving forward, we will continue fighting for immigrants to be treated with dignity and respect, work to end Trump’s deportation agenda, and fix our broken immigration system.”
Pelosi cited the need to get funding to help children caught at the U.S.-Mexico border for moving the bill forward.
“In order to get resources to the children fastest, we will reluctantly pass the Senate bill," she wrote in a letter to colleagues. "As we pass the Senate bill, we will do so with a Battle Cry as to how we go forward to protect children in a way that truly honors their dignity and worth."
The Border Patrol reported apprehending 133,000 people last month, including many Central American families.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.