Thornberry Talks Border and VA Clinic in Wichita Falls

A local Texoma lawmaker toured the Rio Grande Valley earlier this week and says he witnessed immigrants being processed who were caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

Congressman Mac Thornberry says touring McAllen gave him a new appreciation for the difficult job border agents do everyday.

He says while the amount of people crossing is still high, they have actually seen the number go down.

Thornberry says the process of how minors are released to family members or guardians needs improvement. 

"They basically sign a piece of paper that says they will have the minor show up for a court date in 2016, or whereever it is, but then they're gone," Thornberry says. "I really worry that because we're not doing background checks for who we're releasing these kids to, some of them may be released into very bad situations."

In addition, Thornberry says he also supports the deployment later of around 1,000 National Guard troops to the border.
Congressman Mac Thornberry toured the Wichita Falls VA Clinic on Thursday morning. 

He says the Veteran Affairs bill signed by President Obama is a temporary fix that deals with the immediate problem but it's a step in the right direction.

Locally, Thornberry says since the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center took over management of the Wichita Falls clinic, veterans may be experiencing difficulties reaching VA staff after phone numbers changed.

"I think there were some transition issues but I do believe there's good people trying to make sure our veterans get taken care of," Thornberry says. "The other thing is it's really clear we need a new home for our VA clinic here in Wichita Falls. 

Thornberry says a new facility is needed because the current VA clinic has outgrown the facility they are in.

He says the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center is looking for a different facility.

Thornberry encourages area veterans to continue calling the VA clinic if they need assistance.

He says if they can't be reached to leave a message and they will get back to you as soon as possible.

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