EL PASO, TX – Last night, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, began his visit to the border by participating in a night operations brief and riding along with Border Patrol union members. Portman saw how the Border Patrol deploys and integrates agents, sensors, horse patrols, and aerial surveillance to secure the southern border. He also heard firsthand from Border Patrol about the current struggle to retain agents due to the overwhelming, record-breaking number of migrants and drugs crossing into the United States across the border.
“I want to thank every hard-working member of the U.S. Border Patrol as they deal with the growing crisis at our southern border. We owe them the resources both to do their job effectively and retain the many well-trained agents who serve. It was stunning to see how many people, including unaccompanied children, unlawfully crossed the border during my ride-along last night. Border Patrol agents are concerned about the rapid increase in unaccompanied children, which increased by 62 percent between January and February, as well as the increase in total encounters with unlawful migrants, which surpassed 100,000 in February. Border Patrol agents told me about how unaccompanied children and families are used to divert agents while traffickers move illicit substances like meth and other deadly drugs across the border. We are still early in the year and not yet in the peak season for migrant travel, so we are likely to see continued increases in unlawful immigrants and deadly narcotics at our border unless the Biden administration changes its failed approach,” said Senator Portman, Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
NOTE: Portman expressed concern about the effect of President Biden’s actions when U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released operational statistics regarding the crisis at our southern border showing a massive increase of 62 percent of more than 9,500 unaccompanied children making the dangerous journey to our border in February 2021.
Photos from the event are below: