Republican senators who travelled to the southern border to visit border facilities claim that they encountered "human traffickers" and "cartels members" on the border near Rio Grande.
GOP Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who visited the border along with 18 other senators, tweeted his comments alongside a video that he claims shows "human traffickers & cartel members tonight, yelling at us across the Rio Grande and preparing to cross."
Cruz posted a video of his own of what he described as "live footage from the banks of the Rio Grande", slamming the Biden administration for sanctioning "lawless chaos" at the southern border.
"We have been listening to and seeing cartel members, human traffickers right on the other side of the river, waving flashlights yelling and taunting Americans, taunting the Border Patrol because they know under the current policies of the Biden administration they can flood over here," Cruz is heard to claim in the video.
His thoughts were echoed by another Republican senator, Susan Collins of Maine, who said there was human trafficking at the border, telling a story of "a young mother from Guatemala, sitting on an aluminum blanket with her 1-year-old", who told her "she paid smugglers $6,000."
Collins also said that she spent several hours with Border Patrol employees on the night shift in McAllen, Texas, and shared her thoughts on border agents' working conditions.
"[The] Border Patrol is overwhelmed, overworked, & discouraged by new policies. Agents took us through a dangerous path to the Rio Grande where we could hear the Cartel members taunting us across the river. Human trafficking, child abuse, & drug smuggling are rampant. This is a crisis", she stated.
Mexican cartels control who crosses the border. A young mother from Guatemala, sitting on an aluminum blanket with her 1-year-old, told me she paid smugglers $6,000.— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) March 26, 2021
Slamming the Biden administration's approach to what is seen by many as crisis on the southern US border, Republicans in particular have been slamming a lack of media access to border facilities.
Before delivering his first presser as president, Joe Biden allowed journalists into border facilities after restricting the media access to migrant hubs citing pandemic restrictions. The footage showed overcrowded facilities with people crammed into rooms and wrapping themselves in foil blankets.
During his press conference Biden noted that the situation at the southern US border is not unprecedented.
"It happens every single solitary year," he said about the skyrocketing numbers of migrants. "There is a significant increase in the number of people coming to the border in the winter months of January, February, March."
The Biden administration has consistently urged migrants to refrain from flocking to US borders, reiterating that "now is not the time" to come to the United States, particularly due to the raging coronavirus pandemic.
"They should all be going back, all be going back", the president said during his press conference.
Biden also said at the presser that his administration is turning a "vast majority" of migrants away from the US border. A CNN reporter, however, later disputed the assertion, noting that when it comes to migrant families, only 41% - not a majority - are sent back.