Sen. Lindsey Graham has threatened to shut down the U.S. Senate if he or any of his fellow dozen and a half senators planning a trip to the southern border on Friday are denied access to any facility or location.
Graham issued the warning on Fox News Channel on Tuesday night, ridiculing and condemning Democrats – particularly Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Vice President Kamala Harris, who criticized the Trump administration for its detention of immigrants.
“I am going down with 18 senators Friday, and if I’m denied the ability to look into any place I want to go, we’re going to shut the Senate down,” he said. “Where are all the liberal hypocrites? Where is AOC? Where is Elizabeth Warren? Where is Vice President Harris, who basically protested outside of a facility — in Homestead, Florida, during the Trump years — holding migrant children?”
“All I can say is, I’m going down with 18 senators, if they deny me the ability to go where I want to go and see what I want to see, we’re going to shut the Senate down.”
Customs and Border Protection statistics show 100,000 illegal aliens were caught attempting to enter the United States from Mexico in February, many of them unescorted minors. That was a nearly one-third jump from the previous month and a three-fold increase from the same month last year.
Photos taken of facilities where some of those detained have been housed, disseminated by Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, show people being kept in overcrowded closed quarters in what appears to grossly violate guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding COVID-19 mitigation protocols.
Graham mocked Harris, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Ocasio-Cortez for their demonstrations outside immigrant detention facilities during the Trump presidency. Harris and Gillibrand appeared outside a detention center near Homestead, Florida, and Ocasio-Cortez did the same in Texas.
He referred to a report that indicated a facility intended to hold 80 people was being used to detain more than eight times that.
“If this is proven to be true and I have no doubt it is, all I can say — let me tell you this…there were 694 children…being managed by two Border Patrol agents.
“God bless the Border Patrol, God bless the customs agents who are dealing with the Biden administration s—show at the border.”
A clearly infuriated Graham laid the blame squarely at the feet of President Joe Biden and Harris.
“Here’s my message: President Biden and Vice President Harris, with all due respect, get off your a– and go to the border and look and see what you have caused by policies that will not work,” he added. “Quit denying the obvious.
“It will never change, President Biden, until you tell everybody to go home and stop bringing people into the United States. If you’re not willing to do those two things, we will have a million or two people at our border by June.”
Administration officials, including Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and White House Press Secretary, have refused to call the situation a crisis, instead referring to it as a “challenge.”
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