WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today met with members of the South Carolina media to discuss his recent trip to the U.S.-Mexico border, supply chain issues, and other issues facing the country.
- GRAHAM: “I just got back from the border. It’s a disaster. The southern border of the United States is a complete disaster…I went to the Yuma Sector along the Arizona-Mexico border and I saw a tremendous spike in illegal immigrant crossing. There’s sort of a scam going on with the Brazilians. 46,000 Brazilians have come into the United States turning themselves in and asking for asylum in the last year. And at the Yuma Sector, here’s what’s happening. Brazilians, who seemed to be pretty well-off to me, smartly dressed, will take a plane from Brazil to Cancun, Mexico on a tourist visa. They spend a couple days in Cancun, either rent a car or take a bus to the U.S. border. They are dropped off right by our border, take the luggage out of the back of the car or off the bus, walk up to a Border Patrol agent and turn themselves in and ask for asylum. Many of them had flights booked inside the United States because they had relatives or friends. This is taking a lot of time of the Border Patrol to process these people. The ones I saw were smartly dressed and had better luggage than I did. This needs to stop.”
- GRAHAM: “The idea that terrorists could penetrate our southern border is very real to the Border Patrol. They feel abandoned. There is no plan in place to fix this. What’s caused this 1,300% increase in illegal traffic at the Yuma Sector of the Arizona border? The catch-and-release program built around asylum…Ending the catch-and-release program by Remain in Mexico policy of Trump worked. The first thing Biden did was cancel that policy and the rest is history.”
- GRAHAM: “The Border Patrol is under siege. Their morale is low. They are American patriots. They are spending so much time processing people making asylum claims, they can’t go out and do their job as law enforcement officers… [Department of Homeland Security Secretary] Mayorkas comes to the [Senate Judiciary] Committee October the 21st, this Thursday, and he needs to be held accountable. This is 9/11 in the making.”
On shipping delays and supply chain issues:
- GRAHAM: “There is a complete breakdown of the supply chain. Some of it you can blame on Biden, some of it you can’t. COVID has created a problem for the supply chain for the last couple of years. People have been laid off. People have not been able to do their job to full capacity because of COVID. But what you see now is sort of a bad policy rearing its ugly head. In California they made all the truck drivers, instead of independent contractors, they made them employees which changed their tax situation. A lot of truck drivers are retiring. The backup of shipping is due to the fact that you can’t unload the ships and get the cargo into the interior of the United States. And I just believe that [Department of Transportation] Secretary Buttigieg needs to up his game here. He’s a nice fellow, I like him a lot. But he needs to up his game. We’ve got 60 something ships waiting to be unloaded on the West Coast. Savannah has a problem. The administration needs to up its game and make it easier to hire people, not harder to hire people.”