LA JOYA, Texas — Ohio Senate candidate Bernie Moreno (R) walked alongside the border wall material that has been sitting out in the elements since President Joe Biden ordered a halt on construction in 2021 and remarked how upset Americans would be if they understood how much tax-payer money has been wasted.
Moreno, a successful businessman in the car dealership and blockchain worlds, traveled to the Rio Grande Valley on Monday to see how the ongoing border crisis has been affecting the region and to highlight how the problem extends to places like Ohio. The Rio Grande Valley Sector has been one of the hardest-hit areas along the U.S.-Mexico border in terms of the number of people illegally crossing, leading to Border Patrol agents being constantly overwhelmed.
"Thanks to Joe Biden, every state, every city, every county is now a border state. Because the people, as you know, who are crossing the border, bringing drugs, human trafficking, they're not staying here. They're causing a lot of havoc here, but they end up in places like Ohio," Moreno said during an interview with Townhall.
Moreno pointed to how fentanyl overdose deaths in Ohio have become very high in recent years, with most of the drugs coming up through the southern border at the ports of entry and the open border created by the crisis. WKEF reported Montgomery County, which includes Dayton, had 297 overdose deaths in 2020, with at least 328 overdose deaths towards the end of 2021.
Moreno was not shy about taking a jab at his opponents for not visiting the southern border, and he wasn't referring to the Democrats.
"My opponents haven't even been to the border. I'm not talking about my Democrat opponents, by the way, I'm talking about the Republican ones. They haven't even bothered to come here and understand the situation."
Drawing from his own experience of legally coming to the United States as a child from Colombia, Moreno said that is one of the reasons why he is best suited to address not just the border crisis but the overall issue of immigration. And it's because of his journey of legally immigrating to the United States is how he understand how illegal immigration hurts Americans and the migrants themselves.
"I can talk about this issue differently. I can talk about the fact that what the Democrats are doing is the least compassionate thing they can do. They're creating a 'Hunger Games' type program, for people to leave their homes, leave their families, enrich the drug cartels, and go through this incredible pain and misery to be political pawns for them," he added.
Moreno called for the additional military personnel to help seal the southern border along with going back to the policies implemented under former President Donald Trump, such as a full implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols, restart building the border wall, and to send the clear message the only way to come to the United States is the legal way.
"As a taxpayer, the fact this is sitting here is disgusting to me, we paid for this," Moreno said referring to the wall building material next to him.
"My biggest takeaway is that if the American people actually knew if they could come here and see you paid for this...you paid for this to go up and it's just sitting here...When you see what they're putting these people through, what we're doing to our Border Patrol agents, there would be absolute anarchy in our streets," Moreno said.
Moreno later explained he invited members of the press in Ohio to accompany him on the border visit, but none took him up on the offer.