Member of the Problem Solvers Caucus Meet with CBP at a Rio Grande Border Crossing
U.S. Representative Dan Lipinski (IL-3) issued the following announcement on July 20.
Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) released the following statement today after his bipartisan trip to the southern border:
On Friday, Congressman Dan Lipinski joined 16 other members of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus on a trip to the Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas to see and learn more the crisis at the southern border. The trip included visits to a border patrol station, a non-profit caring for unaccompanied minors, and a center where immigrants are processed when they are initially apprehended. The members not only spoke with Customs and Border Patrol agents and non-profit employees those caring for minors, but were also able to visit with immigrants.
“My visit to the border was very informative and moving. Seeing the situation that immigrants, those caring for them, and border patrol officers are dealing with and having the opportunity to speak with people and ask questions gave me an even better understanding of what they are all facing. This was not only a fact-finding mission, but also an opportunity to take what we learned and further discuss what Congress can do to help address this humanitarian crisis. It was very valuable making this visit with a bipartisan group that is really focused on putting politics aside and working toward solutions.
“My observation was that everyone involved is facing a difficult situation and trying to make the best of it, not only the immigrants, but everyone caring for them, including members of the CBP. It’s important to note that we did not see everything and I understand how critical is that there is continual oversight to make sure that everyone is providing the best care they can for immigrants. What I am able to say is that I saw trained law enforcement officers of the CBP doing their best in a very different role than the primary one they were hired to do, which is protecting the border. We must remember that their job is national security, and we must make sure that our security is protected at the border.
“What stood out most to me is the plight of the immigrants. Many of those we saw were children. One was a 10-month-old boy whose parents had been brought by someone who wasn’t his father and his parents had yet to be found. Seeing them and hearing just a little bit of some of their stories was heart-rending.
“I was happy to hear ‘thank yous’ to the Problem Solvers Caucus for having helped pass the $4.5 billion in emergency funding to help those caring for the immigrants. That was an important first step and we heard what a difference it has already made. When we return to Washington next week the caucus will continue to lead in developing commonsense ways to ease this crisis. There are no simple answers. Much of the problem lies beyond our borders. But we must look at everything that is playing a role in causing this crisis and work for solutions. It will not be easy, but it is a both a national crisis and humanitarian crisis we must do our best to solve.”