NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Louisiana Senator John Kennedy had strong words for the Biden administration’s handling of the current immigration crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Kennedy was one of 18 Republican Senators visiting the U.S. Customs & Border Protection Facility in Donna, Texas, on Friday where Biden confirmed the facility is at 1556% capacity with mostly unaccompanied minors.
“What you see behind me, these children and these mothers and fathers and relatives, is a direct result of President Biden’s policies,” said Kennedy, while standing within earshot of smugglers in the Rio Grande Valley less than a mile away from the border,
“President Biden adopted a policy that the smugglers take advantage of—that if you come with the child, who’s under six years of age, and you get here, you’re released into our country.
“The smugglers all know this. And you can see all the young children, all under the age of six, all of these families paid money to a smuggler to get them here. Many of them were abused or violated or hurt on their way here.”
According to Kennedy, President Joe Biden is to blame for a policy he claims propagates harm and dehumanization.
“This is a direct result of President Biden’s policies, and it makes no sense,” said Kennedy. “We need an immigration system that looks like somebody designed it on purpose, and this is not that.
“I mean it breaks your heart, and all of these people here have been used, and President Biden has allowed them to be used.”
Last week, Homeland Security said the U.S. was on pace for the highest number of border crossings in two decades. U.S. Border Patrol caught 100,000 migrants in February alone, with more expected as the global pandemic causes further panic and financial hardships abroad.
Kennedy credits the “Remain in Mexico” policy and “Safe Third Country” agreements and the border wall construction for preventing rushes on the border, but Biden defended eliminating each in his first televised press conference.
“I make no apologies for any programs that did not exist before Trump became President that have an incredibly negative impact on the law, international law, as well as on human dignity,” said President Biden.
As for the overwhelming number of minors being held at the facility, Biden stands strong his administration’s stance to protect and shelter those children in need.
“The idea that I’m going to say, which I would never do, that if an unaccompanied child ends up at the border, we’re just going to let them starve to death and stay on the other side,” said Biden. “No previous administration has ever done that, except Trump. I am not going to do it.”