EXCLUSIVEFresh off a visit to the southern border, Senator Mike Braun said Saturday that President Biden has a moral imperative to immediately see the “inhumane” and “dangerous” immigration situation firsthand.
The Indiana Republican wrote a letter to Biden on Saturday, first obtained by Fox News, that includes photos Braun took on Friday while visiting a US Customs and Border Protection facility in Texas.
The images show migrants crammed into capsules at the processing facility and children sleeping on rugs on the floor.
GOP SENATORS MEET TRAFFICKERS, POSTER MEMBERS AT THE BORDER DURING THE NIGHT OF THE RIO GRANDE TOUR
“The crisis surrounding this increase makes it a moral imperative that you see firsthand what is happening, and not the sanitized version of the border tour taken by some of my colleagues in Congress,” Braun wrote. “Having personally gone this week, I can testify that it is an inhumane, unsustainable and dangerous situation.
“You have to take quick action before the whole system collapses under its own weight.”
There were more than 18,000 unaccompanied minors in the custody of Border Protection or Health and Human Services as of Thursday, according to national security records.
By law, children are not supposed to remain in processing facilities for more than 72 hours before being transferred to HHS shelters specifically designed to care for children. But the surge in migrants at the border has overwhelmed processing centers and caused delays.
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Biden has previously said that he will visit the border “at some point,” although no formal announcement has been made on when it could be.
Most recently, he put Vice President Kamala Harris in charge of the White House border response and working with Central American countries to address the root cause of thousands of people fleeing to the United States. Harris also has no short-term trip to the border planned, his spokesman told reporters on Friday.
Braun was part of a group of Senate Republicans traveling to the southern border of Texas and expressed his horror at the growing crisis, seeing overcrowded border facilities and speaking to overwhelmed border agents.
Border Protection encountered more than 100,000 migrants in February and those numbers are expected to increase dramatically in the spring and summer months. Meanwhile, the administration struggles to open new facilities to handle a surge in migrant children, while asking federal employees to volunteer to help what the administration grants are “overwhelming” numbers.
Republicans have blamed the Biden administration for reversing Trump-era policies, such as the Migrant Protection Protocols, and reviving the policy of freeing migrant families within the United States.
“An insecure border is not only a humanitarian crisis, but also a serious threat to national security,” Braun said in his letter to Biden. “Therefore, I respectfully ask that you take steps to adapt your schedule so that you can go to the border as soon as possible, and then take action to stop all incentives to come to our country illegally.”
BIDEN DOES NOT APOLOGIZE AT NEWS CONFERENCE FOR ENDING TRUMP-ERA MIGRANT PROTOCOLS
During his first press conference as president, Biden did not apologize for rolling back Trump-era immigration protocols, such as the “Stay in Mexico” policy.
Biden said the vast majority of those found at the border will be returned.
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“First of all, all the policies that were in place weren’t helping at all, they didn’t stop the amount of immigration,” Biden said. “Reverse the policies of separating children from their mothers? Don’t apologize for that.
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“Reverse the ‘Stay in Mexico’ policies, sitting on the edge of the Rio Grande in a muddy circumstance without enough to eat? I don’t apologize for that,” Biden said. “I do not apologize for ending programs that did not exist before Trump took office and that have an incredibly negative impact on the law, international law, as well as human dignity. Therefore, I do not apologize for that.” .
Adam Shaw and Tyler Olson of Fox News contributed to this report.