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Members of Congress Visit the U.S.-Mexico Border in Yuma, Arizona

April 24, 2019
Press Release

GILBERT, ARIZONA – Last week, Congressman Andy Biggs led a congressional delegation to the U.S.-Mexico border to better understand the escalating crisis caused by illegal immigration. Congressman Biggs was joined by Rep. Matt Gaetz, Rep. Sean Duffy, Rep. John Joyce, Rep. Duncan Hunter, Rep. Dusty Johnson, and Rep. Pete Stauber. During the trip, the delegation met with Angel parents, Border Patrol agents, DEA officials, ICE agents, Immigration Court judges, and Customs officers. Members of the delegation released the following statements:

“I’m grateful for my colleagues who accompanied me to the border to view the national emergency with their own eyes. It’s one thing to talk about this crisis from our districts or from Washington, D.C.; it’s another entirely to walk with our agents on the ground to experience their everyday realities. What we observed during our three-day excursion again confirmed my thoughts: our southern border is dangerously unsecure, and Congress is failing to do its job to secure the border and help President Trump protect Americans. I thank the men and women who selflessly serve at Border Patrol, ICE, ports of entry, DEA, immigration courts, local law enforcement offices, and other offices responsible for enforcing America’s laws. I am resolved to return to D.C. with my colleagues to continue to advocate for complete border security.” – Congressman Andy Biggs (AZ-05)

“During our trip to Arizona, my colleagues and I witnessed the crisis on our southern border first-hand. We observed over 100 illegal immigrants get detained at the border where no barriers were in place. Briefings on the humanitarian and opioid crisis at our border made it clear that President Trump was absolutely right to declare a state of emergency. I look forward to working with my colleagues to solve these challenging issues, and to provide the hard-working law enforcement officers at the border with the resources they need.” – Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01)

“I’d like to thank the brave men and women of the Arizona CBP and DEA who graciously shared their experiences with us. They showed us just how easy it is to exploit our open border, the large amount of illegal drugs being seized daily, how catch and release incentivizes floods of migrants, and the effectiveness of physical barriers to prevent illegal immigration. In talking with the people who actually live and work on our southern border, it’s abundantly clear that there is a crisis that demands better solutions.” – Congressman Sean Duffy (WI-07)

“Touring the southern border was a chance for me to cut through the noise and speak with the men and woman who patrol our border daily. I am incredibly thankful for all the agents and officials who work around the clock to protect the American people. Witnessing their day-to-day work only further solidified my view that Congress must quickly provide them with the technology, infrastructure, and personnel necessary to completely secure the border and prevent illicit drugs, human traffickers, and illegal immigrants from entering our country.” – Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08)

“As a freshman member of Congress who has never been to the southern border before, the trip was an eye-opening experience and reinforced to me that a number of changes need to be made in order to better secure our border. It is clear that our Border Patrol agents are overwhelmed and need more manpower and better technology to do their jobs. It is also clear that we need to fix the loopholes in our immigration system that are perpetuating the crisis, which is why I am going to cosponsor H.R. 586 when I return to Washington, legislation that  strengthens our asylum system by raising the credible fear standard. The Border Patrol, DEA and Customs agents that briefed us were incredibly professional and I thank them for their insight.” – Congressman John Joyce (PA-13)

“My time spent at the border taught me one thing: Our systems are overwhelmed. Last month we apprehended nearly 100,000 people at our southern border and as I viewed these detention areas, they're three or four times more crowded than they should be. We have to secure our border. Whether you’re somebody who cares more about national security or whether you're somebody who cares more about humanitarian concerns, this is a crisis that we need to solve as soon as possible.” – Congressman Dusty Johnson (SD-At-large)

“This time with the Border Patrol in the Yuma Sector was very important and revealing, even for somebody like myself who represents and is familiar with the challenges of the border region.  The contrast between what has been achieved on the border in areas like I represent in San Diego compared to the significant work that remains to be done in areas like Yuma serves as a stark reminder that this remains a real emergency and anyone who would characterize the situation as a manufactured crisis does not have a grasp on reality.  I want to again thank our men and women in the US Border Patrol who consistently serve to protect our nation, it’s time we gave them all the full resources they need to do the job we ask them to do. – Congressman Duncan Hunter (CA-50)