DEL RIO, Texas — A group of 14 members of Congress led by Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) visited the West Texas border region to discuss border security issues with federal officials in Del Rio, Texas. Gonzales told a field of reporters President Biden talked about border security in his State of the Union Address but should do more than just talk. Rather, he should “show up to the border” to gain an understanding of the situation.
The delegation of Republican representatives included Tony Gonzales (R-TX), Cliff Bentz (R-OR), Ken Calvert (R-CA), John Curtis (R-UT), Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Chris Jacobs (R-FL), Young Kim (R-CA), Peter Meijer (R-MI), Carol Miller (R-WV), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), John Rutherford (R-FL), and David Valadao (R-CA).
The group received a briefing from Border Patrol personnel at the Del Rio Sector headquarters and toured the Del Rio Border Patrol Station where they observed agents involved in processing the hundreds of migrants apprehended daily. The delegation also traveled to a remote site in the sector to observe a demonstration of surveillance technology deployed in the region.
Gonzales and the group of legislators met with community business leaders and local law enforcement representatives before holding a press conference to discuss their findings. The delegation concluded the visit after touring the Del Rio Port of Entry and receiving a briefing from Customs and Border Protection employees.
Gonzales told reporters this is the largest delegation of legislators to tour the region since the start of the border crisis. Congressman Calvert told the media he is alarmed that people on the terrorist watch list had been apprehended and worries not about those who the Border Patrol have apprehended but those that have eluded apprehension.
“For that reason, and a lot of other reasons, we need to stop people from flooding across this border and give the Border Patrol the resources they need,” Calvert told reporters.
Congresswoman Miller-Meeks of Iowa expressed concerns with several issues regarding the current influx of migrants in the area. Miller-Meeks commented to reporters “Rightfully so, we know all eyes of the nation and the world are on Ukraine but that should not deter us from looking at the crisis that is here on our southern border.”
As a physician, Miller-Meeks says she is concerned not only about the national security interests but also about the lack of COVID-19 testing and the influx of fentanyl contributing to overdoses across the county.
California Congresswoman Young Kim told reporters the current immigration crisis goes beyond any seasonal migration issue and undermines legal immigration. Kim told reporters “I’m an immigrant myself so what I see occurring at the border it is really undermining legal immigration, so we are walking away with more resolve to fix this broken immigration system.”
When asked about the lack of media access to the tour and no direct access to Customs and Border Protection facilities, Congressman Gonzales told Breitbart Texas the current administration is failing in this endeavor. Gonzales says even members of Congress must ask specifically worded questions to receive answers from the Biden administration.
“The Republican party has called for more transparency with this administration on everything from the debacle in Afghanistan to what is occurring in Ukraine, the inflation numbers, to border security. We agree completely that they need to unveil and let the truth be known” he added.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.