GOP lawmakers urge Biden to crack down on border smuggling

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GOP lawmakers urge Biden to crack down on border smuggling

Republican House members accused President Biden Wednesday of not doing enough to prevent drug and human smuggling across the US-Mexico border as the wave of migration continues to grow.

More than a dozen lawmakers traveled to the border city of McAllen, Texas to visit a migrant processing center and a portion of the border wall. They also spoke to Border Patrol and Army National Guard members who have attempted to combat the ever-rising tide of illegal immigration.

“What we’re seeing down here in McAllen is one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world,” Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.), told The Post in a statement. “The facilities are overcrowded, the Border Patrol agents are overworked, the border wall, if you can even call it that, has miles-long holes in it.”

“Throughout my visit, a few things have been repeated by agents over and over again,” Carter added. “We need Title 42. We need consequences for people who come here illegally. We need to enforce the Remain in Mexico policy. And we need to secure our southern border.” 

McAllen is located in the Rio Grande Valley, which has seen the most migrant encounters of any area along the southern border

US lawmakers southern border
Over a dozen Republican House members traveled to the border city of McAllen, Texas.
Office of Rep. John Joyce

Between Oct. 1 of last year and the end of April, agents in the McAllen sector have stopped migrants more than 287,000 times. In April, border officials reported 41,776 encounters – a slight decrease from March, but a 38% increase from the 30,236 reported in January.

On Wednesday, Carter’s office told The Post, Border Patrol agents warned the delegation that they are estimating they will end the year with 2.4 million migrant encounters.

“Nearly every illegal immigrant coming across the border is being sent through the cartels,” claimed Rep. Mike Carey (R-Ohio), who also made the trip. “This is planned and part of a strategy to overwhelm our border agents to smuggle deadly drugs into our communities. Our border agents are doing an amazing job with what they have but it is not enough.” 

Southern border
Republican House members criticized President Joe Biden for not doing more to prevent human and drug smuggling across the southern border.
Office of Rep. John Joyce

Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa) agreed, telling The Post: “We are past the breaking point at the border and the Biden Administration has shown no interest in solutions to support law enforcement on the ground or keep our country safe.”

Hinson added that the administration’s policies had “delivered a big win to cartels and traffickers.” 

“For example,” she claimed, “cartels have figured out that kids are sent to the Donna Processing Facility, so they intentionally drop families and unaccompanied minors outside of centers further away to stretch our manpower as thin as possible.”

Rep. John Joyce
GOP Rep. John Joyce was among the delegation that traveled to the Southern border.
AP

According to Hinson, Border Patrol agents who met with the lawmakers stressed the need for Title 42 to remain in place. 

The Biden administration attempted to end the Trump-era health order earlier this month, after border officials expelled nearly 2 million migrants over the previous two years without first hearing their asylum claims. 

Ultimately, a Louisiana federal judge kept the order in place last month. However, some border towns have still seen an influx of migrants crossing into the US

“Halting the construction of the border wall, ending the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy, and reimplementing ‘Catch and Release’ into our country’s interior have led to record numbers of illegals crossing our southern border, including record numbers of unaccompanied minors,” said Rep. Ben Cline (R-Va.) 

“When Republicans regain the majority in the House and Senate this November, one of our first priorities will be to secure our southern border and reverse these Biden border policy disasters.”

Wednesday’s visit was the latest of several made by Republican lawmakers in recent weeks. Last week, Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) traveled to Brooks County, Texas where he was forced to put his medical training to use and help a migrant woman suffering from the effects of extreme heat. 

Since Biden took office, he and his administration have faced criticism from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle over the rising number of border crossings from Mexico.

The number of border encounters reached record highs this spring — hitting 234,088 in April

While some of the increase has been attributed to Ukrainian and Russian migrants fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine, border and administration officials warned of a potential increase for months.

Wednesday’s delegation also included GOP Reps. Jason Smith of Missouri, Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin, Lloyd Smucker of Pennsylvania, John Joyce of Pennsylvania, Bob Good of Virginia, Jay Obnernolte of California, Chris Jacobs of New York, Tom McClintock of California, and Michael Burgess of Texas.

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