Sixty-four House Republicans visited the southern border city of Eagle Pass, Texas, on Wednesday, a backdrop to a legislative package that would introduce more restrictions to the country's border securIty and immigration policy.
"In San Antonio, we were completely overwhelmed. The migrant center there was having to release people into the streets," said Rep. Tony Gonzales.
"This administration's dereliction of duty becomes more and more dangerous, and more and more infuriating, and we are here to say it must stop," said Speaker Mike Johnson.
Johnson called for more restrictive asylum rights, investment in border protection technology and the construction of a border wall as the conditions to greenlight additional funding for Ukraine, and indicated the demand could be used for leverage on bills funding the federal government.
"If President Biden wants a supplemental spending bill focused on national security, it better begin by defending America's national security," said Johnson. Democrats, like former Texas House of Representatives member Poncho Nevarez, question the purpose of the GOP members' visit.
"You want the border patrol to do their job, right? But on one hand you want to shut the government down so that they don't it. So that you get what? Seal the border? How? They did that and it doesn't work," said Nevarez.
Republicans got a briefing about how many migrants cross the river at different times, but Wednesday proved relatively slow. Scripps News filmed a family of five crossing the river, presenting themselves to the border patrol, all while Republicans demanded harsher border measures and pointed the finger at the president — hoping to show their appearance wasn't just talk.
"It wasn't a dog and pony show. It was our people that live in and around this area able to share their personal stories of when people illegally got it in their backyard and they felt afraid and they had to call 911, but there was no one to reach out to for that. There was five sheriffs to tackle a county larger than some states," said Gonzales.
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