By CAMERON ARCAND
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) – House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and a Republican Congressional delegation visited the Tucson sector of the southern border Thursday.
The delegation of freshmen congressmen met with Customs and Border Protection to discuss the crisis and then spoke with reporters about the new Republican House majority’s plans to tackle the issue.
“The saddest part about all of this – the Mexican government doesn’t know which of their citizens are leaving their country. The American government does not know who’s coming into our country. But there’s one entity who knows both, the Sinaloa Cartel,” Rep. McCarthy said at a news conference in Cochise County.
“They know exactly who’s coming across, and who’s entering. They also know what’s in the backpacks, the drugs to kill Americans,” he continued.
In addition to the helicopter tour, the delegation also met with law enforcement officials and citizens at a roundtable on drug smuggling and the disruption in border communities.
At the news conference, Arizona Rep. Juan Ciscomani criticized President Joe Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’s handling of the issue since taking office in 2021.
“There are two people that can really have an immediate impact on the situation in this country and that’s President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas, and they both have failed and they have shown no interest in fixing this issue,” Rep. Ciscomani said.
“We’re not here talking about immigration reform, we’re here talking about border security. These are two different issues and we need to deal with them separately,” he later added.
Reps. Lori Chavez-DeRemer of Oregon, Jen Kiggans of Virginia, and Derrick Van Orden of Wisconsin were also in attendance.
Congressional Republicans have more visits to the border planned, including a House Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for Thursday in Yuma.