HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz arrived in the Rio Grande Valley Thursday night to tour the border alongside local border officials.
After the Senators participated in a boat tour with the Texas Department of Public Safety along the Mexico border, a press conference was held.
Together, the lawmakers condemned the Biden administration for the events occurring with migrants at the southern border.
Senator Cornyn echoed that sentiment during the press conference and stated this situation has put a strain on Border Patrol officials as well as migrants who are being contained in closed areas.
“We thought it was really important to bring our colleagues from the Senate that are not from border states and don’t get to come here often,” said Cornyn.
“All of us today witnessed the Biden cages,” said Cruz. “What is occurring here in the border is heartbreaking and it is a tragedy.”
Cruz commented that even though they asked some Biden administration officials, the media was denied access to the facilities during the trip.
“The Trump administration allow media inside the facilities like that, the Obama administration would allow media inside the facilities like that, the George W. Bush had, the Bill Clinton one had, ” said Cruz. “But the Biden administration wants to hide what is going on here.”
Cruz noted that the migrant holding facility in Donna is well-over its capacity limit.
“The Donna facility is a giant tent city,” said Cruz. “Built with a capacity of 250, it has nearly 4,000 in it, we saw cages after, after cages.”
Sen. Cruz said the group of senators saw a group of children inside the Donna facility testing positive for COVID-19.
Senators from various portions of the nation chimed in the press conference to give their thoughts on the migrant situation.
Wyoming Senator John Barrasso stated the senators saw a group of traffickers, coyotes, and smugglers on the other side of the river while in a ride-along with Border Patrol Thursday night.
“They were taunting our Border agents, saying you cannot stop us now,” said Barrasso. “While we were in the Donna facility, as we tried to get a video of what was happening to share with the country and the world, the Biden administration censures tried to stop us.”
All senators echoed the sentiments that the Biden administration’s handling of the migrant situation is a disaster.
They commented that the substantial growth in migrants traveling to the United States is a direct result of the Biden administration’s policies.
“It’s costing like $800 per day, per child,” said South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. “Vice President Harris this is your job to fix, I promise you I will work with you, but you cannot possibly understand your job unless you come here.”
During a press conference on Thursday, President Joe Biden was repeatedly pressed to defend his migration policy along the border with Mexico. He said the increase in migration was cyclical.
“It happens every single solitary year. There is a significant increase in the number of people coming to the border in the winter months,” the President said. “It happens every year.”
Biden said many migrants were fleeing problems in their home countries and blamed former President Donald Trump, for dismantling parts of the U.S. immigration system.
The Senator’s visit comes amid a partisan divide on how the Biden administration is responding to the migrant situation at the southern border.
Thursday Night Tour
The senators wanted to see for themselves, and show the nation, what Border Patrol agents experience daily.
“They’ll have cartel members who’ll throw rocks at them, they’ll have cartel members who’ll shoot at them and that’s a regular occurrence in terms of the dangerous environment these Border Patrol agents are operating in,” said Senator Ted Cruz.
Cruz stated that when agents do apprehend people, they just see them released.
“They repeat the cycle over and over and over again, and it’s incredibly frustrating and demoralizing.”
Cruz described Border Patrol agents and officers with the Texas Department of Public Safety as heroes for working to keep the country safe.
Senator John Cornyn spoke to KVEO on the importance of those wanting to migrate to the United States to do so legally.
“We encourage people to get in line and enter the country legally. We’re the most generous country in the world when it comes to legal immigration, but this is dangerous to the people who turn themselves over, unaccompanied children, and the family members…” said Sen. Cornyn.
He added illegal immigration does nothing but “enrich criminal organizations.”
Cornyn told KVEO the guiding principle of the Biden administration is to reverse all of the previous administration’s policies and that the biggest problem with that, is not having plans to substitute those policies.
In total, 18 senators visited the Rio Grande Valley.
During a press conference held Wednesday, Cruz said the border ‘crisis’ was created by the Biden administration.
“He halted construction on the wall, reinstituted ‘catch and release,’ and ended the Remain in Mexico policy. This crisis is getting worse and worse by the day,” said Cruz at the press conference.
On Thursday, U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Kyrsten Sinema wrote a letter to President Biden asking him to address the surge in migrants at the southern border and reaffirming their commitment to work on bipartisan legislation to help solve the crisis.