REP. GONZALEZ, R-TEXAS: I’ve been sounding the alarm for months now. Two days ago I was in El Paso and viewed a few different things. One of those was at Fort Bliss. The migrant facility that’s going to go up there will be controlled by HHS, but only 5,000 unaccompanied children will be housed. There is over 100 acres that’s getting built there. I also went to Juárez ,because I think it’s important for us to realize there is a crisis on the American side, but there’s also a crisis on the Mexican side. So I went over to Juárez to see it firsthand. The families that are making the trek — and many of them are confused. There are smugglers they’ve come in from southern Texas, the Reynosa area, and the smugglers told them they will get into the U.S., no problem. They get caught, and they get sent via plane from southern Texas to El Paso because of capacity and they got returned back to the Juárez side.
It is heartbreaking to see these families, many of them are with several small children, make this journey. Essentially the cartels have turned into travel agents. They give families bracelets that determine where exactly they’re going, it’s a very organized process. But what worries me is there are tens of thousands of families on the Mexican side of the border. If this administration does away with Title 42 for families, what we’re going to see is tens of thousands of families try to come into the United States overnight. That’s what I’m hearing on the ground, from Border Patrol agents and professionals. We have to ensure Title 42 stays intact until we get the situation under control.
I did a night tour with the Border Patrol agents and saw it firsthand … within minutes on my tour, we had several small children give themselves up. It was interesting to watch the sheriff’s department work hand in hand with the Border Patrol agents using Operation Stonegarden funds, throughout the night. The technology piece is absolutely critical. In that sector, there is 150 miles of border. Of that, only 24 miles have any sorts of technology associated. They’re asking for that and I think that’s a reasonable request. The other thing is the manpower, people are stretched thin. I will tell you this, the morale of the men and women in green, the Border Patrol agents, is very high. They are proud of what they’re doing, they’re working around the clock to ensure our country is safe and I’m grateful to them.