Cornyn, Cruz to lead Senate delegation to border next week

Cornyn, Cruz to lead Senate delegation to border next week
© Greg Nash

Sens. John CornynJohn CornynSenate votes to take up infrastructure deal Biden officials pledge to confront cybersecurity challenges head-on Eight Republicans join Democrats to confirm head of DOJ environmental division MORE (R-Texas) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP, Democrats battle over masks in House, Senate Human rights can't be a sacrificial lamb for climate action Only two people cited by TSA for mask violations have agreed to pay fine MORE (R-Texas) plan to lead a Senate delegation to the U.S.-Mexico border next week amid an influx of migrants that is creating a real-world and political crisis for the Biden administration.

The Texas senators issued a media advisory that they will lead a group of lawmakers to the Rio Grande Valley Area on March 26 to hold a tour of the border and a roundtable with local stakeholders.

The tour comes as a surge of migrants and unaccompanied children flock to the border seeking entry to the U.S. as both parties call the situation a “humanitarian crisis.” 

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Reports this week found that 4,200 children are being held in Customs and Border Protection cells designated for adults, a jump of 1,000 from the previous week. Some children are spending an average 117 hours in these facilities despite a 72-hour legal limit. 

Republicans have amplified attacks on Biden’s immigration policy amid the surge, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyTim Ryan slams McCarthy for mocking Capitol physician, mask mandate McCarthy knocks Pelosi, mask mandate: 'This House has broken the country's trust' GOP, Democrats battle over masks in House, Senate MORE (R-Calif.) leading a delegation of 12 members on a tour of the border in El Paso, Texas, on Monday. 

McCarthy, in remarks during the tour, attributed the rise in migrants at the border to the Biden administration’s reversal of former President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer New York state Senate candidate charged in riot Trump called acting attorney general almost daily to push election voter fraud claim: report GOP senator clashes with radio caller who wants identity of cop who shot Babbitt MORE’s immigration policies and progress on a border wall. He called on Biden to visit the border as he travels the U.S. to tout the recently passed COVID-19 relief package. 

Biden committed to a more “humane” treatment of migrants after Trump received criticism for detaining children in “cages” during a 2018 surge. But now, the Biden administration is left to try to make room for the increasing number of unaccompanied children. 

When asked if the living conditions of these children was acceptable, White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiWhy in the world are White House reporters being told to mask up again? Only two people cited by TSA for mask violations have agreed to pay fine Democrats ramp up pressure for infrastructure deal amid time crunch MORE said, “It’s not acceptable, but I think the challenge here is there are not that many options.”

“We have a lot of critics, but many are not putting forward solutions,” she said. “The options here are sending the kids back on the journey, sending them to unvetted homes or working to expedite sending them into shelters where they can get treatment by medical doctors, educational resources, legal resources and mental health counseling.”

Democrats, including Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTim Ryan slams McCarthy for mocking Capitol physician, mask mandate McCarthy knocks Pelosi, mask mandate: 'This House has broken the country's trust' Senate votes to take up infrastructure deal MORE (Calif.), have cast the blame for the influx in migrants on Trump, saying he left Biden with a “broken system.”