Texas Border Business
MCALLEN, Texas – On Sunday, April 11 and Monday, April 12, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) hosted a bipartisan group of members from the Problem Solvers Caucus on a fact-finding mission to the Southern border to show firsthand the challenges our nation faces in regards to immigration. The Members of Congress on the visit discussed bipartisan solutions to fix our broken immigration system.
“It was an honor to host fellow members of the Problem Solvers Caucus in South Texas,” said Congressman Gonzalez. “I hope this visit provided Members with a holistic view of what we deal with in South Texas on an annual basis and actionable intel that will shape meaningful immigration policy. We all know that these solutions will take time, but I am confident that this group will lead the way to address the immigration challenges ahead in a bipartisan manner.”
Those Members in attendance represented all parts of the country from New York to Hawai’i. Congressman Gonzalez was proud to host 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) and Rep. Dan Meuser (PA-09).
The Members of Congress were given a comprehensive picture of the current situation, starting with a meeting with Sister Norma Pimentel, the Executive Director of the Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, who discussed the humanitarian work her organization does and the root causes of Central American migration. Members were given a tour of the Catholic Charities Rio Grande Valley Respite Center.
Following their tour, the Members did a ride-along with Constable Lazaro “Larry” Gallardo, Hidalgo County Constable Precinct 3 at Anzalduas Park in Mission, Texas to see the encampments of migrants visible from the banks of the Rio Grande Valley in Mexico and to view areas were migrants were known to cross into the United States.
In the evening, Congressman Gonzalez hosted a dinner for Members with local leaders, including mayors, sheriffs, county judges and city leaders, for them to share how border cities shoulder the costs of irregular migration year after year.
On Monday, April 12, the delegation visited McAllen Border Patrol Station for a tour of the outdoor migrant processing. The Members then visited the Donna Land Port of Entry and the U.S. Border Patrol Donna Soft-sided Facility, which serves to safely process individuals in U.S. Border Patrol custody.
The Congressional Delegation ended with a Rio Grande Boat Tour with Texas Department of Public Safety, Operation Lone Star which integrates Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) with the Texas National Guard to deploy air, ground, marine, and tactical border security assets to high threat areas to deny Mexican Cartels and other smugglers the ability to move drugs and people into the state.
To reflect on their experiences, Congressman Gonzalez and the Members of the Problems Solvers Caucus hosted a bipartisan press conference to highlight the need for both parties to work together to break through the gridlock on immigration and many other issues.
The press conference can be viewed here.