Standing at the U.S.-Mexico border, Sen. Mike Lee says undocumented migrants should beware of perilous journey

Men line up to receive food from volunteers with Border Kindness after crossing the U.S. border with Mexico on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023, near Jacumba, Calif. President Joe Biden is trying to sweeten his pitch for more money for Ukraine by mixing in billions of dollars for securing the U.S.-Mexico border in the hope that it will bring more Republicans on board.

Standing at the U.S.-Mexico border Friday with other Republican senators, Utah Sen. Mike Lee said he had a message for anyone thinking of crossing the border illegally.

“Don’t do it. Don’t come. Don’t send your daughters, don’t send your wives, your sisters, on this journey because it’s too perilous for them. Don’t do it. If you love them, do not allow them to do it,” said Lee.

Lee and the other senators, including Texas Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, had spent the last 24 hours visiting with border patrol agents, including accompanying them on day and nighttime patrols. They also spoke with local police officers and South Texas landowners.

They held a press conference just a few miles from the border on Friday in Anzalduas Park in Mission, Texas.

During one of the patrols, Cruz said they spoke to a group of around 20 people, predominantly women and children, who turned themselves into border patrol agents Thursday night. There were several unaccompanied teenagers, he said, and one young girl with a man who said he was her father.

“The look in those kids’ faces was horrifying,” said Cruz.

“It was horrifying as we left them, knowing there’s a very good chance those teenage girls are being taken off to be sex trafficked, to be trapped in forced prostitution as is happening to thousands and thousands of teenage girls,” he said.

Lee and the other senators blamed Biden administration policies for the influx of migrants at the border.

“Last night I heard the term indentured servitude used as something describing a growing concern in the United States of America, describing those who had been brought on this first journey from other places in Central and South America, where people were paying thousands and thousands of dollars, money that in many cases they don’t have, at least not upfront,” Lee said.

“Of course, it’s unlawful, it’s even unconstitutional. And yet it’s happening. It’s happening because the Biden administration refuses to enforce laws on the books,” Lee said.

Cornyn said the senators also spoke to stakeholders involved in trade between the U.S. and Mexico.

“We have something special here, but unfortunately, it’s being spoiled by the administration’s reckless policies that do nothing to deter illegal immigration and facilitate the death of 108,000 Americans last year alone, and hundreds of thousands of lost children, lost to sponsors in the interior of the United States with unknown outcomes,” said Cornyn.

The other senators on the trip were Pete Ricketts of Nebraska and John Barrasso of Wyoming.