(NewsNation Now) — Southern ports of entry are expected to get a funding boost from the $1 trillion infrastructure law, but benefits for migrants like work permits are still pending.
Out of that infrastructure bill that became law just a couple of weeks ago, there’s been about $16.5 billion that was set aside specifically for land and water ports.
But where it gets less specific is which of these ports across the country get priority.
So, essentially, what money goes where is not exactly clear.
Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar says that a good share of that money should go to ports of entry right along the border between Mexico and the United States.
Escobar says that Texas hasn’t gotten a lot of upgrades other than just routine maintenance in years.
Before the pandemic, there was about $677 billion worth of trade between the United States and Mexico that went back and forth every day. Since the U.S. has lifted some of the restrictions between the two countries, some of that traffic as well as the resulting delays are again starting to return.
Escobar says that this would be crucial money for some of those ports along the Texas border, and she’s been pushing for a share.
There are some immigration-related provisions in the Build Back Better Act that would allow for undocumented workers who have come across the border — even illegally — to get work permits.
However, that part of the bill has been stripped twice and is likely not even going to make it in the final version.