US lawmakers visit Rio Grande Valley, weigh in on reopening border

By: Allysa Cole

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U.S. Senator John Cornyn, joined by Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema and U.S. Representatives Henry Cuellar and Tony Gonzalez, visited the Rio Grande Valley on Wednesday to tour the Texas-Mexico border.

All four lawmakers toured the Border Patrol’s Donna Temporary Processing Center, the Dept. of Health and Human Services’ Delphi Emergency Intake Site, and the McAllen-Hidalgo International Bridge. They then met with local elected officials, stakeholders, and law enforcement officials before holding a joint press conference.

Based on what they saw during their visit, the lawmakers said they believe it’s time to reopen the international bridges allowing trade and traffic to flow between the U.S. and Mexico.

Cornyn said the communities along the border on both sides depend on cross-border traffic.

Cuellar, who’s been pushing for the bridges to reopen, said the Department of Homeland Security and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are working on a transitional plan to reopen the border safely.

Last month, all four lawmakers introduced the Bipartisan Border Solutions Act in response to the increase of migrants crossing the southern border.

RELATED COVERAGE: U.S. lawmakers propose bill to handle influx of migrants on southern border

“We simply want to make sure that people who do have legitimate claims for asylum can get in front of a judge,” Cornyn said. “Make those claims and come to our country as those laws provide.”

The lawmakers say the act will enforce legal immigration laws, making it easier for migrants to show up to their court dates and possibly reduce the number of people in holding facilities.


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