Sens. Sullivan, Cruz & Colleagues Urge Biden to Address Worsening Southern Border Crisis, End Dangerous Policies That Created It

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sens. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), John Thune (R-S.D.), John Barasso (R-Wyo.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) yesterday sent a letter to President Joe Biden detailing their eye-opening congressional delegation (CODEL) trip in March to see firsthand the humanitarian, national security, and public health crises at the southern border. The senators urged the Biden administration to address the crisis and reverse the dangerous immigration policies that created it.

In the letter, the senators wrote:

“There were cages after cages of little boys lying side-by-side, of little girls lying side-by-side, covered with crumpled reflective blankets, and with virtually no space between them. There was a playpen of infants and toddlers brought here by human traffickers and then left alone at the border. Outside, we saw a line of children who, having just been crammed into the crowded cages, were now testing positive for COVID-19. Border Patrol agents were doing their absolute best to care for these children, but these officials are not social workers-they are trained to protect our border. The conditions were, simply put and without exaggeration, inhumane.

“We learned from Border Patrol agents on the ground that each of the migrants at the Anzalduas and Donna facilities-or in some cases, their relatives-paid for their crossing with thousands of dollars handed over to smugglers and coyotes, most of whom are affiliated with Mexico's deadly drug cartels. One woman from Honduras, for example, told us that she paid smugglers $6,000 to cross. As one CBP agent added, the border on the Mexican side is closed-no one crosses without the permission of the cartels. The result is a catastrophe at the border, with an unimaginable cost of human suffering. The dangerous path northward to the border is rampant with sex trafficking, child abuse, and rape. An agent at the Donna Processing facility told us of a girl who could not speak, having lost her voice after screaming so loudly while being raped by the coyotes who were taking her to the border. The cartels care nothing for these people.”


“As local leaders made clear, border communities are suffering because the port remains effectively open for everyone except those who actually support and contribute to the local economy. One leader put it: the border policy gets it exactly backwards-closures and restrictions for the law-abiding whose livelihood relies on legal crossings, and open access for criminals and illegal immigration.”


“Our delegation's tour of the border was eye-opening. We knew it was a crisis before we arrived, because we had seen the statistics. But witnessing it was different. From the coyotes heckling border agents on the ground, to the health and humanitarian hazards of the Anzalduas processing area, to the terrified and confused children in the unsanitary and crowded conditions of the Donna facility, to the struggle of local border communities near the Pharr bridge, what we saw convinced us that this is more than a crisis. It is a tragedy. It is a tragedy that could easily have been avoided if your administration had heeded the repeated warnings from the experts on the ground.

“Our delegation represents a diversity of thought and approach on immigration policy. But we agree on one thing: you and your administration must acknowledge that this is a crisis, and you must begin a dramatic change of course to humanely secure our southern border.”

Read the full text of the letter here

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