October 27, 2023
WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE) accompanied Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) on a tour of the Rio Grande Valley to examine the current state of the U.S.-Mexico border. Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and John Barrasso (R-WY) were also in attendance.
The Senators participated in both night and daytime tours of the border with law enforcement on land and water, visited the U.S. Border Patrol’s Ursula Central Processing Center, and met with the National Border Patrol Council, State of Texas Border Czar, local law enforcement, and South Texas landowners to discuss the impact of the Biden Administration’s border policies on Texas communities. Additionally, the Senators received briefings from leaders with the U.S. Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector and the U.S. Customs & Border Protection’s Office of Field Operations Laredo Field Office on efforts to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.
Earlier this week Ricketts introduced the Ensure Uniform Border Inspection Practices Act to require annual comprehensive reviews of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) policies to improve enforcement practices. He also re-affirmed his support for 10 additional pieces of legislation that address the illegal immigration crisis at the border and need to enforce existing laws. Learn more HERE.
Ricketts spoke during a press conference at the border earlier today.
“This humanitarian and security crisis falls squarely on Joe Biden,” Rickets said. “It is his policy that is sending a message for all these people coming here to undertake this very dangerous journey.”
Watch the video HERE.
Senator Ricketts: “I want to add my thanks to Senator Cornyn and Senator Cruz for hosting us to this visit on the southern border.
“And also, the men and women of the Customs and Border Protection for not only hosting us, but for their heroic work to stem this overwhelming tide of people that is coming into our country.
“Last month, a record over 260,000 contacts by Customs and Border Protection. It was mentioned, in the Biden administration 8 million [encounters].
“To put that in context, that’s more than the previous two administrations combined. That’s how many people are coming here.
“We’ve also seen again another record year of people on the terrorist watch list – over 170 coming to this country. Last year was 98. Put that in perspective a few years ago, that was single digits.
“And why is this happening?
“Because of Joe Biden’s open border policy. This humanitarian and security crisis falls squarely on Joe Biden. It is his policy that is sending a message for all these people coming here to undertake this very dangerous journey.
“We heard about over 800 people dying in the last year – over 2,300 since Joe Biden has taken office. That’s what Customs and Border Protection tells us is going on down here.
“Senator Cornyn mentioned the leading cause of death among young people in our country, ages 18 to 45, is drug overdose. Fentanyl, it’s coming from here.
“And last night you heard the stories from Senator Cruz, very real human stories, that we saw with our own eyes, right across the border, right across this river.
“We saw the people who had just come here and heard their stories.
“They are suffering to get here and they will continue to suffer as the cartels continue to traffic them.
“As my colleague said, this is a modern form of slavery and it is allowed to go on because of Joe Biden. It is that simple.
“When we talk to the Customs and Border Patrol folks, you know what they say? The first thing they say is, ‘Change the policy. Change the policy so we don’t send that message to the so many people that are coming here.’ They’re spending more time processing people than actually guarding the border.
“This must end. This must end.
“And it will only end when this administration takes responsibility – when Joe Biden takes responsibility for the human suffering he is causing right here in our own country. Change these policies, so that we don’t have this crisis.”