WASHINGTON – Vice President Mike Pence visited the Nogales, Arizona-Mexico border with local border patrol agents on Thursday. During the discussions, Pence slammed Democrats for “inaction on what the Trump administration calls a ‘security and humanitarian crisis.’” Pence called on Democratic leaders to close “loopholes’ in asylum laws in order to deter Central American migrants from crossing into the U.S.
It was an honor to meet the extraordinary men and women of @CBP in Nogales this afternoon. @POTUS and I are grateful for the work that you do every day. Thank you for your service! pic.twitter.com/ynyLPpdTwo
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) April 12, 2019
Arizona border patrol agents told Pence the current immigration and asylum system is broken.
Pence said, “I’m here because President Trump and I recognize we have a crisis on the southern border.”
In Nogales the crisis is anything but under control.
On Thursday, Pence and reporters were told by a border patrol agent that approximately 4,300 individuals were apprehended on Tuesday. That makes Tuesday the highest single-day apprehension day total.
“The fact is that we have loopholes in our laws today that human traffickers and drug cartels are using to entice vulnerable families to make the long and dangerous journey up from Central America to come into our country illegally,” stated Pence.
“These people, these families, are being exploited by drug cartels and human traffickers.”
Pence’s visit comes just a day after Nogales U.S. Customs and Border Patrol seized 93 pounds of heroin, cocaine, and meth from three separate drug busts over the weekend. In total, CBP seized $724,000 worth of hard drugs in the area.
Less than an hour away at the San Luis port of entry in Arizona, CBP arrested two individuals as the attempted to smuggle fentanyl and meth into the U.S. CBP identified one of the men as a Mexican national, and the other as a U.S. citizen. The total amount of the hard drugs seized is an estimated $339,800.
In an exclusive interview with CNN Pence said the administration will not bring back separating families at the border, putting to rest Jake Tapper’s assertion of senior administration officials leaks that Trump had been pushing former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to enforce a ‘zero tolerance’ mindset.
IMMIGRATION TALK ON CAPITOL HILL
Even with staggering facts and statistics of the southern border crisis growing, Democrats on Capitol Hill have no intentions of working on a comprehensive immigration bill on the floor. A handful of Democrats have put out the idea of a floor vote as Congress’ last attempt at a comprehensive immigration overhaul. The overhaul would have been the 2013 bipartisan Senate bill, which failed to gain any traction from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s team.
Marissa Martinez is a political contributor for Accuracy in Media. She is the former political director to Massachusetts Governor’s re-election campaign, alumna of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and political consultant to national PACs. Follow her AIM border stories, @MarissaAlisa.