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Tags: Immigration | Ted Cruz | mike lee | border | cartels | texas | immigration

Sen. Mike Lee: Senators Taunted Across Rio Grande by 'Smugglers, Cartel'

mike lee sits in hearing
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, listens during Supreme Court Justice nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice in the Hart Senate Office Building on Oct. 12, 2020, in Washington, D.C. (Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 26 March 2021 12:20 PM

Sen. Mike Lee said Friday that people he described as "drug smugglers, cartel members" stood across the Rio Grande River Thursday night and taunted him and other members of a congressional team visiting the nation's southern border to observe conditions there. 

"(They were) yelling at us, taunting us, shining high candlepower flashlights across the river at us, basically saying, 'we are coming,'" the Utah Republican, one of 18 GOP members of Congress at the McAllen, Texas, border, said on Fox News' "Fox and Friends." 

He said there were "drug smugglers, cartel members, people making $14 million every single week while this crisis lasts, bringing people across the border, illegally subjecting them to untold privatizations, sexual abuse, and other horrible things," involved in the verbal barrage.  

His comments came after Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, posted a tweet early Friday showing himself near the river and talking about being taunted from the other side, and about the conditions the lawmakers are seeing.

"We've already gone to detention facilities that are overrun with families, small children, we saw multiple mothers who were nursing infant babies," Cruz said in his cell phone video, adding that he has seen several smugglers bringing people across the river.  

"Our policy is when they smuggle them in, the Biden administration releases them, and more and more and more," Cruz said in the video. "This is a humanitarian crisis, it's a public health crisis, the immigrants who are being released, they're testing positive for COVID-19 at a seven-times higher rate than the American population, and it's a national security crisis."  

Lee said Friday that the Biden administration has made the border into a "press-free zone," meaning that since the media is not allowed in, lawmakers must tell the story. 

"We are not journalists," he said. "If we are the only Americans in there, we will tell the story. That is why we have 18 senators here. We want to get to the bottom of what is happening."

But the situation is "easy to fix," said Lee, adding that he is working on a bill with Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., to adopt "a couple of commonsense policies, many of which predate the Trump administration and others which were adopted during the Trump administration but we've now abandoned."

He added that the issues with coronavirus pandemic are also creating a "tragedy" when it comes to the border.

"We make it harder for U.S. citizens to come back to their own country," said Lee, but the caravans heading to the United States are defying "reason and logic."

"We should send back unaccompanied minors who try to show up and send the back to their own countries and set up these agreements the Trump administration negotiated," said Lee. "If you want to seek asylum, if the country is safe like Mexico, that is where you are seeking asylum."

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Politics
Sen. Mike Lee said Friday that people he described as "drug smugglers, cartel members" stood across the Rio Grande River Thursday night and taunted him and other members of a congressional team visiting the nation's southern border...
mike lee, border, cartels, texas, immigration
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2021-20-26
Friday, 26 March 2021 12:20 PM
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