Thomas J. Donohue Thomas J. Donohue
Advisor and Former Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


July 08, 2019


Migration along our southern border continues to grow as people fleeing dangerous conditions, drought, and poverty in Central America seek entry into the U.S. Shelters are seeing between 200 and 500 children and adults arrive at their doors – every 24 hours. This surge in people is putting a strain on the Customs and Border Patrol officers, nonprofits, state and local governments, and communities along the border as they work to address this humanitarian crisis.

The pictures and stories we are seeing and hearing from the border are moving many people to tears or anger. What’s most important is that we are moved to act—both to mitigate the crisis and provide aid to children and families in need.

In late June, Congress passed and the president signed overwhelmingly bipartisan legislation to provide $4.6 billion in emergency funding to address the border situation.

These additional resources will help federal agencies already stretched to the limits care for people in their custody. We support our nation’s leaders in taking this important step. But it will take some time for those resources to make a meaningful difference on the ground – and help is needed now.

This is a moment where businesses can and must step up and lead. We have the resources and logistical networks to be of great help. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Center (CCC) is coordinating a private sector response.

The CCC is working closely with nonprofit partners that are supporting shelters at the border and need immediate financial support and bulk in-kind donations, and we are communicating those needs to businesses that want to help.

This week, we’re also hosting a private sector coordination call, where we’ll hear directly from leaders who have visited the shelters and will share additional information and needs with businesses.

At the same time, the Chamber is involved in efforts to address the migration crisis more broadly. We recently announced a new partnership with Mexico’s chief business association to assist both the U.S. and Mexican governments craft solutions to these challenges. It’s clear that the current flow of migrants is simply unsustainable for both our countries.

We are a nation of laws and a nation of values. We are reminded there is an indomitable drive in all people to seek better lives for themselves and their families. As we work to address the various challenges confronting our borders, a great nation like ours must always extend dignity, respect, and humane treatment to all who come here seeking a better life.

About the authors

Thomas J. Donohue

Thomas J. Donohue

Thomas J. Donohue is advisor and former chief executive officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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