In border visit, Senate Republicans say migrant surge was avoidable
With nearly 200,000 immigrants caught at the border last January and February, the debate over who’s to blame arrived at Anzalduas Park outside of Mission as Senate Republicans took a tour of the border provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Republicans - concerned about the number of immigrants crossing, the amount of immigrants in custody, and COVID – say the White House moved too quickly to make policy changes.
The DPS tour was preceded by a night tour with Border Patrol Thursday night where members of the Senate delegation tour saw operations at the border.
Republicans countered claims they let immigration numbers get out of control in the 2019 fiscal year when 86,000 people crossed the border every month on average.
"What did Trump do? He told Mexico, ‘We're going to put tariffs on all your products unless you allow us to have asylum seekers stay in Mexico.’” South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said. “What happened? [border apprehensions] went down to a 45 year low."
The senators also toured the temporary migrant processing facility in Donna where previously published photos showed cramped conditions. The Republican senators say the facility is over capacity – raising COVID concerns.
"[COVID positivity] rates dramatically higher than the U.S. population and the Biden administration is taking people who are testing positive for COVID-19 and locking them in cages side by side,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said. “This is inhumane. It is wrong."
Several Republicans claimed the White House was advised by border patrol about the consequences of quickly changing policy, before changing directions on the Remain in Mexico program, and asylum claims.