GOP Senators Visit the Border: ‘We Could Hear the Cartel Members Taunting Us Across the River’

Border Patrol Agents (BPA) assigned to El Paso Sector, El Paso Station (EPT/EPS) apprehended a group of approximately 127 illegal aliens. (Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)
Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), one of several GOP lawmakers who visited the southern border on Friday, said she could “hear the cartel members taunting” them across the river and declared the situation a “crisis.”

“1 AM — I spent the last 3 hours with Border Patrol on night shift in McAllen, TX. 18 Senators learning about the huge influx, 3,000 people per day, including unaccompanied children, illegally entering,” Collins said in a Friday morning social media thread detailing her visit to the border.

“Mexican cartels control who crosses the border. A young mother from Guatemala, sitting on an aluminum blanket with her 1-year-old, told me she paid smugglers $6,000,” Collins continued, explaining the Border Patrol is “overwhelmed, overworked, & discouraged” by new Biden immigration policies.

“Agents took us through a dangerous path to the Rio Grande where we could hear the Cartel members taunting us across the river. Human trafficking, child abuse, & drug smuggling are rampant,” Collins added, declaring the situation a “crisis”:

Texas Sens. Ted Cruz (R) and John Cornyn (R) led the group of senators on the border trip. The objective, Cruz previewed, was to “see firsthand the crisis that is unfolding.” Additionally, attendees included Sens. John Thune (R-SD), John Barrasso (R-WY), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Hoeven (R-ND), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mike Lee (R-UT), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Steve Daines (R-MT), James Lankford (R-OK), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Thom Tillis (R-NC), John Kennedy (R-LA), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Mike Braun (R-IN), and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL).

President Joe Biden on Thursday described his administration’s conditions for border crossers in federal facilities as “unacceptable.” Notably, the current surge took off after Biden assumed office, coinciding with his rollback of Trump-era immigration policies, such as the “Remain in Mexico” program and the restart of “Catch and Release.”

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