A Republican senator claims a Biden official “asked that he delete his photos” he took as he toured an overcrowded facility at the U.S.-Mexico border last week, according to a new report.
Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) told The Washington Examiner that a Biden aide involved in the tour “asked that he delete his photos. Like others on the trip, he didn’t.”
“There was one of Biden’s representatives,” he told the Examiner. “I felt sorry for the lady because she actually talked to me about deleting a picture, but by the time she got to me, all those other pictures were taken, and that shows you the hypocrisy. None of us would have gone down there if we were going to be muzzled,” said Braun, who added that Border Patrol also asked that no photos be taken, but that “they were telling us that because they had to.”
Members of the party that toured the facility released pictures they took. Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) and others posted photos of the overcrowded holding facility in Donna, Texas, where Lankford said that “pods” designed to hold 80 children were packed with more than 700.
“I know why President Biden doesn’t want the media to be here – because we do have an open border,” Lankford said on Friday. “If you were an unaccompanied minor, you were sent over to the Donna facility, which we went over and visited. That facility is designed for 80 people in a pod, and they had 709 people… literally wall to wall in every one of the little plexiglass cells that they have, and people flooding out into the hallway,” Lankford said.
After the visit, Braun wrote a letter to President Joe Biden calling on him to visit the border himself.
“The crisis surrounding this surge makes it a moral imperative for you to see firsthand what is happening—and not the sanitized version of the border tour taken by some of my congressional colleagues,” Braun wrote. “Having personally gone this week, I can testify to this being an inhumane, unsustainable, and dangerous situation.”
Braun also said the group met with border agents at the edge of the Rio Grande, where foreigners often cross to enter the U.S. illegally. There, he said, “coyotes” who escort people hoping to enter the country heckled the group in Spanish.
“All of a sudden to hear from the other side of the river taunting from the smugglers and coyotes, most of it in Spanish, telling the border guards that whatever you do, we’re coming,” said Braun. “That kind of hit home in such an anecdotal way because it is one story that kind of is a metaphor for what’s happening all up and down the border,” he added.
Coyotes charge anywhere from $4,000 to $20,000 to escort foreigners across the border. Traffickers bringing men, women, and children across the U.S.-Mexico border made as much as $14 million a day in February, according to a new report published last week.
“Trafficking is a multibillion-dollar industry,” former Tucson Border Patrol Chief Roy Villareal told Fox News.