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Womack Visits Southern Border, Sees Escalating Crisis Firsthand

Washington, DC – April 9, 2021....Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) joined House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (LA-1) and other members in traveling to the southern border to see firsthand the devastating national security, humanitarian, and health crisis President Biden has created with his reckless immigration policies. The congressional delegation visited McAllen, Texas to assess the situation on the ground.

Congressman Womack said, “This trip has confirmed we have a disaster of unprecedented proportions on our southern border. President Biden’s open border rhetoric and policies have caused this humanitarian and national security crisis. What I saw was heartbreaking and dangerous. I implore the President and Vice President Harris to get down here. They need to see the consequences of their actions and stop the madness.”  

During the trip, members discussed challenges with border patrol agents and participated in an evening ride-along tour with the National Border Patrol Council. They watched at night as migrants, including groups of unaccompanied children, entered the U.S. from rafts on the Rio Grande River and saw processing procedures. They then toured the Donna Migrant Processing Facility, visited gaps in border wall security caused by President Biden’s decision to halt construction, participated in a riverine tour with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), and held a press conference.

The delegation also received operational briefings on challenges to law enforcement and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officials due to the Biden Administration’s policy changes and surging migrant numbers. The agents highlighted national security threats, including drug and weapons smuggling, human trafficking, encounters with previously deported criminals, and apprehensions of terror watch list suspects.

Illegal border crossings have skyrocketed this year, with more than 172,000 illegal border crossings in March alone—this marks a 400% increase compared to March 2020. CBP is currently encountering more than 5,500 individuals per day at the southwest border, and we’ve already surpassed border encounters from the entirety of FY2020. Facilities are completely overwhelmed, and border patrol agents are being diverted from interior drug checkpoints and regional stations to the Rio Grande Valley.

Other members on the trip included Republican Leader of the House Administration Committee Rodney Davis (R-IL), Republican Leader of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Michael McCaul (R-TX), Republican Leader of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes (R-CA), Rep. French Hill (R-AR), Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH), and Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO).

Womack is committed to legislatively enacting strong reforms to fully revamp our immigration policies and secure our border. He has previously voted to authorize border wall development and implement comprehensive proposals that would have delivered a working, lawful, and effective immigration system. He also recently called for hearings to examine the ongoing and escalating security and humanitarian crisis at our border. Reforming pieces of our immigration system is pointless unless we stop the flow of illegal entries.

Congressman Womack with President of the National Border Patrol Council Brandon Judd

Congressman Womack speaks with agents and discusses the situation on the ground

Congressional delegation receives overview on challenges, processing procedures, and escalating crisis

Congressman Womack delivers remarks on visit to southern border

Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) has represented Arkansas’s Third Congressional District since 2011. He is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.