MCALLEN, Texas — A bipartisan delegation of U.S. House members visited the U.S.-Mexico border on Monday amid a deepening political divide over U.S. immigration policy.
U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) led members from the Congressional Problem Solvers Caucus on a fact-finding mission to "discuss real solutions to the immigration and border security challenges America faces."
Members met with stakeholders such as federal, state and local law enforcement, humanitarian organizations and city leaders. They also toured ports of entry and processing centers.
Other U.S. House members who joined Gonzalez on the visit were:
- Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01)
- Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05)
- Rep. Tom Suozzi (NY-03)
- Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-20)
- Rep. Young Kim (CA-39)
- Rep. Conor Lamb (PA-17)
- Rep. Ed Case (HI-01)
- Rep. Dan Meuser (PA-09)
The caucus is comprised of 58 members – which is evenly split to include both parties, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick said. He shared that the group's mission is to develop a solution to the border crisis.
Rep. Young Kim said she the bipartisan tour to the border made it clear that there is a crisis going on. She said she can't wait to figure out a common solution. Kim said it's an issue that affects all parts of the country because once migrants are released into the U.S., they can end up in any part of the country. She pointed out that the current resources are overstretched.
Rep. Dan Meuser said the visit was his second time touring the border. He said they saw some "sad situations" with young children and their parents.
"We've got to come up with the right plan," Meuser said. "We also need cooperation... We need a commitment... and we need Congress to act."
Rep. Ed Case said his constituents believe that the U.S. needs a strong support system, but that the current system is broken.
Rep. Jimmy Panetta called the tour an "evidence gathering mission." He said it was his fifth trip to the border. He said immigration is one of the most complex issues to address and that it takes time to solve the particular issues at hand.
Rep. Conor Lamb said he was struck by all of the law enforcement members they met with were compassionate. He said he believes it's important to listen to local people who are dealing with the problems every day.
Rep. Gonzalez said they are trying to find a solution that works for everyone.