Graham says Brazilian immigrants arriving at border ‘wearing designer clothes and Gucci bags’
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said in an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Tuesday that Brazilian immigrants are arriving at the U.S.’s southern border “wearing designer clothes and Gucci bags.”
The comment came during a discussion of the Biden administration’s order this week to end workplace raids targeting undocumented workers.
“Now, what Mayorkas did today, calling off all the raids of worksites, is going to be another incentive for people to come, because the word is out,” Graham told Hannity. “You come, you claim asylum, you never leave. The policy choices of Biden are all over the world now.”
“We had 40,000 Brazilians come through the Yuma Sector alone headed for Connecticut wearing designer clothes and Gucci bags,” he added. “This is not economic migration anymore.”
Graham reiterated his comments to The Washington Post in an interview Wednesday, saying that during his recent trip to the Arizona border in Yuma he was struck by seeing people who were “smartly dressed.”
“Usually when you go to the border, you see people who are dressed really haggardly and who look like they’ve been through hell,” Graham told the Post. “This time at Yuma, there were dozens that looked like they were checking into a hotel — and smartly dressed.”
Graham told the newspaper that a Border Patrol agent had mentioned the growing Brazilian community in Connecticut, which is what prompted him to bring up that state.
Kevin Bishop, a spokesman for Graham, told the Post that the southern border has seen “thousands” of Brazilians coming into the United States and that their “luggage was nicer than [Graham’s] own.”
Bishop provided photos of the luggage Graham saw on his trip to the Post, which the newspaper noted did not appear to be Gucci.
In a report published Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal detailed how an increasing number of migrants entering the U.S. illegally at the southern border are part of South America’s middle class, and often fly to the Mexican border by plane.
And a record number of Brazilians have been arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border this year, the Post noted.
During the first 11 months of fiscal 2021, more than 46,000 Brazilians were arrested, compared to just below 17,900 for all of 2019. The large influx of people from the country is believed to be a result of the fact that Brazil is still struggling with the coronavirus pandemic and high unemployment, according to the Post.