The Biden administration is staging ‘a giant coverup’ on the U.S.-Mexico border to hide ‘massive system failure’, Senator Lindsey Graham has claimed, as a veteran Border Patrol commander said the situation was ‘completely out of control’.
Graham told Hannity he witnessed ‘a giant cover-up,’ adding that he expected to see 150,000 people a month crossing illegally before long.
Lindsey Graham on Monday night told Sean Hannity what he had seen at the border on Friday
Graham and other senators were taken to observe the work of the Border Patrol on Friday
Migrants are detained after crossing the Rio Bravo river to turn themselves in, in El Paso, Texas on Monday
A group of migrants arrives illegally in the U.S., crossing the Rio Grande in a raft guided by Mexican smugglers on Monday
Senators were told they were not allowed to film the children, leading Cruz to tweet: ‘How far is Joe Biden going to stop the American people from seeing inside the Donna CBP facility?’
Cruz added: ‘Biden sent a political operative from DC to block our cameras and even threatened another senator to obstruct legitimate congressional oversight.’
In a clip filmed by Cruz, a woman who works at the facility tells him: ‘This is not a zoo, sir, please don’t treat the people as such.’
Graham, on Monday night, told Hannity he could ‘understand why the Biden administration don’t want the American people to know what’s going on.’
He added: ‘I saw massive system failure.’
A group of migrants waits to be transported by the Border Patrol in La Joya, Texas on Monday
A child waits with his mother to be processed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent on Monday
Border Patrol agents are seen processing the migrants on Monday in La Joya, Texas
Graham said that Border Patrol agents told him, before Biden was inaugurated, that the Democrat was ‘going back to the old policy’ and getting rid of Remain in Mexico.
Border Patrol officials say they are having to deal with an extraordinarily high 30-day average of 5,000 daily encounters with migrants.
In February 2021, US authorities reported more than 100,000 encounters on the southern border, while March is on track to report a 50 per cent increase over February, according to the Associated Press
Children traveling alone are allowed to remain in the U.S. to pursue asylum while nearly all single adults are expelled to Mexico under pandemic-era rules that deny them a chance to seek humanitarian protection.
More than 16,000 unaccompanied children were in government custody as of last week.
Families with children younger than seven are being allowed to remain in the U.S. to pursue asylum, according to a Border Patrol official speaking to reporters Friday.
Others in families are expelled.
Border Patrol agents are reporting an average of 5,000 daily arrivals along the crossing
Border Patrol agents have been diverted from jobs inland and redeployed to work on the border
‘What did I see? I saw 200 plus women and small children being processed in front of me,’ he said.
‘That were going to be released into the United States within eight hours.’
Graham said he ‘saw children with numbers on their wrist’, and that the unaccompanied children would be sent to stay with relatives.
‘Once we catch them, your tax dollars are used to reunite the family,’ said Graham.
‘This is not catch and release. This is catch and reunite.
‘They call the family member, the number on the child’s wrist and the American taxpayer pays to reunite the family who is here illegally.’
Graham said the policy ‘sends the wrong signal.’
‘We’ll have half of Central America in the United States in a year if we don’t change these policies, and the conditions in which these kids live in were terrible,’ he concluded, warning that the numbers would rise to 150,000 arrivals a month.
‘Send them back or they are going to keep coming.
‘I have never seen so many incentives for illegal immigration as I see today.’
Joe Biden, who on Monday visited the Vietnam Veterans’ memorial, has denied there is a crisis
Graham spoke after Jeffrey Self, who spent more than 30 years with Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) in Arizona and Texas, retiring in August, said that he was dismayed by the lack of planning to stem the arrivals.
He accused the Biden administration of a lack of ‘operational planning to stem the flow’, and of being focused instead on the ‘the threat of the aesthetics of this humanitarian crisis getting out more than it has.’
Self accused Democrats whose constituencies ran along the border of failing to stand up for their voters, and said that they were also letting down migrants, by allowing them to believe they should make the crossing.
‘What needs to happen is some kind of planning for an enforcement action versus planning to move bodies,’ he told Fox News.
‘The key to fixing this problem is our Democratic elected officials have to stand up. They need to put this inhumanity of these failed border policies above the party.
‘They’re toting the party’s message, they’re not taking the action they need to say: ‘we’re not gonna stand for this, this is not good for the country, this is not good for my constituency and this is not good for these people coming up from Mexico and Central America.”
Self, a retired veteran of the Border Patrol, said the situation was ‘completely out of control’
Self said that he was dismayed the Biden administration was only focused on ‘aesthetics’
Self, who spent three years as Chief of the Southwest Border Operations, said that officers he spoke to were telling him that the situation was ‘much more inhumane’ than under Barack Obama, who in 2014 put ‘kids in cages’.
‘We have to quit playing politics and recognize people are suffering,’ said Self.
He added that he was deeply troubled by reports that 10-14 agents in the El Paso area had tested positive for COVID-19.
‘That’s depleting the work force, and we can’t stand for this,’ he said.
‘There must be some change.’