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GOP lawmaker: 'A lot of the attractive children are not making it to the border'
Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) said Thursday that many "attractive children" attempting to emigrate to the U.S. are not reaching the southern border, falling victim to human traffickers instead.
The comments came during a hearing about U.S. immigration policy and border agencies, CNN reported Thursday.
"Believe me, a lot of the attractive children are not making it to the border," Carter said as an aside before the discussion moved on to other topics.
The comment came during an exchange with Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas), who was asking questions regarding asylum laws and other measures that help to protect families who make it across the border to the U.S. and are waiting to see if they will be permitted to stay.
Culberson said Central Americans put their lives at risk to get to the U.S. border, and the laws serve as a "magnet" for them.
People trying to get to the U.S. border through Mexico often have to pay smugglers for assistance. Along the journey, migrants can face life-threatening conditions, in addition to assaults and exploitation.
Officials in the Trump administration have said they hope to get rid of some of the factors that compel migrants to try to get across the border, which they say includes "catch and release" policies.
President Trump recently ordered National Guard troops to be sent to the country's southern border to guard against migrants and drug trafficking.
Earlier this month, Trump said undocumented women attempting to cross the border "are raped at levels that nobody's ever seen before."