A group of Republican congressmen said the border is “spiraling out of control” following a recent tour in Southwest Texas. The group visited detention and processing centers in the Del Rio Border Patrol Sector.
U.S. Representatives Jim Banks (R-IN), Tony Gonzales (R-TX), Ashley Hinson (R-IA), Victoria Spartz (R-IN), Lloyd Smucker (R-PA), Chris Jacobs (R-NY), Kevin Hern (R-OK), and Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) visited the border and toured the communities in Southwest Texas on Friday.
The delegation toured a recently constructed detention and processing facility in Eagle Pass, Texas Friday morning and visited with Border Patrol personnel to see firsthand, the issues confronting the community. The representatives held a round-table discussion with local community leaders and law enforcement officials.
The congressional delegation expressed concern over the overall conditions observed along the border and allowed the community leaders to express their experiences regarding the recent surge in illegal immigration faced by law enforcement and the local communities.
During a brief post-tour press conference, the overall message delivered by the delegation — they were on the border to listen primarily, and to look for solutions to the problems along the border. Congressman Gonzales stated the need for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to visit and experience what they have seen and heard from the law enforcement personnel participating in the discussion.
Congressman Gonzales’ remarked, “When you have folks that are career law enforcement with over 35 years of experience that are seeing spikes they have never seen before, and you hear that over and over, things are spiraling out of control at a record pace, that’s the biggest takeaway.”
The delegation traveled on to Del Rio, Texas, where they toured the border area and met with Border Patrol personnel. They also met with the command staff at Laughlin Air Force Base.
Most of the tour was closed to the public except for the discussion with local elected officials and law enforcement authorities.
When asked specifically what the delegation will do upon their return to the beltway, Gonzales stated, “We’ll work towards policy solutions among our colleagues in the House.”
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.