NewsMontana Politics


Daines ‘more convinced than ever’ that greater security is needed after trip to southern border

Posted at 12:22 PM, Feb 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-12 14:22:32-05

U.S. Senator Steve Daines wasn’t exactly on the fence when it comes to a border wall, but after a visit to the Rio Grande Valley, he is more convinced than ever that more needs to be done to secure the southern border.

Daines spent the night with Border Patrol agents at what he calls “ground zero” of the southern border crisis—the Rio Grande Valley near McAllen.

He said they witnessed several of the hundreds of people crossing over the border illegally there every night.

“We saw firsthand the impacts of a porous border. I would describe it as porous and primitive. They are capturing hundreds of illegals every night in the Rio Grande Valley sector,” he said.

At one point, Daines said agents were involved in a chase that ended with the capture of two men from Honduras. One told him he was headed to New York, the other to Miami.

Daines said agents told him that only about 10 percent of the people crossing are being apprehended in this sector.

They are bringing meth, heroin, and cocaine across and these drugs are tearing apart Montana, Daines added.

Daines said he was told closing off about 135 miles in this sector would reverse that and result in 90-95 percent apprehensions.

“It’s false that it would be a sea to shining sea wall,” Daines said.

Daines, a Republican, called it utterly ridiculous that the possibility of another government shutdown is looming if Congress can’t reach a deal this week.

“Past presidents, Democrats and Republicans, have been able to get border funding approved by Congress and have built walls. This has become a political football,” said Daines.

-Reported by Russ Riesinger/MTN News