Cartels are making millions of dollars bringing migrants to the United States' southern border, but the American taxpayers are "finishing their job" once an immigrant enters the country, Sen. Marsha Blackburn, who visited several sites along the Texas border over the weekend, told Newsmax Monday.
"The cartels fully understand the rule of law in the United States, and they know if they can get an illegal alien to the water's edge on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande that the Border Patrol and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) will take them from there, that refugee resettlement will take them from there and that the U.S. taxpayer will take care of them," the Tennessee Republican said on Newsmax's "National Report."
That care involves U.S.-funded plane or bus tickets to a destination away from the border, as well as food, shelter, and clothing, said Blackburn.
The senator visited several sites in Texas during her tour, observing Border Patrol actions and speaking with residents who have faced issues with the increased numbers of people crossing the border.
"What I saw there on the ground was a lot of frustrated Border Patrol agents who really want to do their job," said Blackburn. "Of course, you have the Texas National Guard and other National Guards from around the country as well as the Texas Department of Public Safety that are filling that void."
Meanwhile, there have been 1.1 million migrants apprehended this year, the senator said, and there is a lot of frustration at the border.
"The wall could be built. Everything is there to build that wall," said Blackburn, adding that "every agent, every rancher, every property, every local sheriff I talked to down there" told her that the wall could help keep the border secure.
Panamanian officials have reported that there are about 60,000 migrants heading to the United States in yet another caravan, and Blackburn said that's because the cartels aren't afraid of the Biden administration.
"The cartels are very much afraid of the National Guard," said Blackburn. "When I was on the border Friday night, early Saturday morning, we could hear gunshots coming from the Mexico side from the cartel, and they've been firing tracers over the National Guard post there. It is a dangerous time."
The situation is a "humanitarian crisis," but the Biden administration is not supporting the Border Patrol, and Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris "are AWOL on this issue," said Blackburn.
"They have not put attention to it," she said. "You have the criminal element that is picking up their movement into this country with drugs, with gangs, with sex trafficking. We've got people from 150 different countries that have crossed the border this year. These individuals are being trafficked. They're being subjected to all sorts of abuse and drugs. This needs to stop today."
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