- Republican North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker visited the Southern border over the weekend and talked about his experience with the Daily Caller News Foundation.
- Walker said border patrol agents are going above and beyond the job description and the humanitarian crisis is affecting security at the border.
- Calling detention facilities “concentration camps” has hurt worker’s morale, and Walker condemned using the phrase.
Republican North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker visited the southern border over the weekend and praised the work of border patrol agents and condemned calling detention facilities “concentration camps.”
The former pastor and current ranking member on the House Subcommittee for Counterterrorism and Intelligence told the DCNF he was impressed with the border patrol’s efforts, specifically regarding humanitarian needs at detention facilities.
“First impression was just the men and women, the border agents there, and how much they were giving to the families and children and adults,” Walker said. “These are people, I watched them mix formula, change diapers. From what I saw, these people are working very hard to try to deal with the humanitarian crisis.”
The U.S. Coast Guard has been here serving for months. Thankful for their service and aid. pic.twitter.com/UfYIyDs6Td
— Rep. Mark Walker (@RepMarkWalker) July 19, 2019
Using the phrase “concentration camps” to refer to detention facilities has “been hurtful” to border agents and crushed morale in the workplace, he added. The workers are “there serving under very difficult situations.”
“Concentration camps are where Nazis enslaved, tortured and murdered millions of innocent Jews. At the border, our officers and servicemembers are compassionately and selflessly serving others – even criminals – mixing baby formula, changing diapers, and providing comfort and consolation,” Walker told the DCNF. “Any comparison between the two shows ignorance in history or a divorce from reality and is a trumpet call for radical liberals to violently attack our law enforcement officers.”
The security at the border is worsening because of the humanitarian crisis. While visiting the southern border, “40 or 50 migrant men tried to rush the border” and a few border patrol agents were injured, Walker said.
This increase in border crossings has made it “nearly impossible to deal with” the crisis, according to Walker.
The influx of new arrivals raises questions over their identities and points of origin. Some of these illegal immigrants have ties to terrorism, according to Walker.
“There are people, not all of them, coming in who have ties to terrorism … If border patrol is so involved in humanitarian needs, how many are we missing who want to do harm?” Walker said.
At the McAllen Border Patrol Center, they have made apprehensions from dozens of countries. Two Pakistanis were apprehended this week, one with ties to terrorism. pic.twitter.com/55vo7S0ywz
— Rep. Mark Walker (@RepMarkWalker) July 19, 2019
More and more migrants are using children to jump through loopholes in the system. In 2016, 1% of men crossed the border with children, according to Walker. This year, the number has jumped to 50%.
“I don’t know how you can go there [the border] without your heart breaking for these individuals who have come … I just look at them and wonder how many of them have been traumatized by smugglers,” he said. “But at the same time, you look at the amount of people who are bringing in lethal drugs…that’s why we have laws in place.”
The congressman expressed his relief that Democrats have “realized this is a crisis,” and admitted there are still “problematic areas” due to overcrowding at border facilities.
“There’s still some problematic areas when these men are apprehended,” according to Walker. “They do put these gentlemen in these large fenced areas — these fenced areas have been around since 2014.”
Many 2020 Democratic candidates have voiced support for decriminalizing illegal border crossings, a move which Jeh Johnson, the secretary of homeland security under former President Barack Obama, said amounts to open borders. After visiting the southern border, Walker said those who advocate for open borders don’t “understand issues of national security.”
“I think it’s a very damaging perspective,” Walker said. “Other countries — including Mexico, Canada — everybody has rules at the border. For us to consider open borders, I can’t imagine what those numbers would be if we just opened up the border. Whoever advocated for that does not understand issues of national security.”
“I condemn that kind of mindset.”
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