This past weekend I did what President Obama refused to do during his recent trip to Texas—I visited the U.S-Mexico border.
I knew that the border crisis was serious, but nothing could have prepared me for just how bad this situation truly is.
The results of the Obama administration’s lawlessness when it comes to enforcing existing immigration laws were magnified in the Rio Grande Valley, where Congressman Steve King and I visited a number of facilities and met with local, state, and federal officials.
What we saw was people processing, not border security.
Americans would be shocked to learn that virtually no one is stopped before gaining entrance. When a foreign national illegally enters the United States, they are taken to a processing facility, where it is determined whether or not they get to stay in the country.
While the popular media narrative has been to focus on the children who came here alone, it is only a small fraction of the growing problem along the southern border.
My heart breaks for the unaccompanied children, but officials told us that 80 percent of the people entering the country illegally are not women and children—they are males over the age of 14.
It is this latter group that is the source of much of the incoming violence, particularly with their increasing involvement in drug cartels and transnational gangs such as MS-13. These organizations profit from exploiting innocent people desperate for a better life into paying thousands of dollars to be transported into the United States.
MS-13 is a brutal international gang with more than 50,000 members—with thousands of members throughout the United States. This ugly and dangerous business has fueled violence on both sides of the border.
By failing to secure our border, the United States government has enabled and empowered a criminal enterprise made of drug cartels and human traffickers that spans our continent.
Enforcement of our border is so lax that I even witnessed coyotes smuggling an illegal alien in broad daylight near the banks of the Rio Grande in Roma, Texas.