OUR SOUTHERN BORDER
Kimberly Lowe, GOP Candidate for Virginia’s 9th Congressional District travels to the Texas Mexico border for several weeks in order to understand what is occurring at the border in order to better serve Virginians and the nation. Kimberly didn’t just go down for a photo op, she took time to go to many locations along the border and speak to a variety of people from NGO’s to border patrol to law enforcement to legislators to ranchers and many others. She watched people come across the water at night and then processed by border patrol and watched those who were released back into Mexico across port of entry bridges. She also visited a center where families go after they are processed and was able to speak to families from multiple countries, and she even trekked a drug cartel used path in the middle of the night along the Rio Grande which is used for drug smuggling.
Kimberly’s goal in going to the border was to understand what is happening particularly in order to better understand how to solve the opioid epidemic. The Opioid epidemic is the number one killer in America. We’ve seen it ravage our families in Virginia and around the nation. Many end up dead or with a felony conviction and then they are unable to obtain work or vote and many end up losing their children to the State via CPS and don’t get them back once they are recovered. Lowe says “We have to treat this as a health crisis and stop criminalizing the user. We’ve seen that campaigns that tell people to not use drugs doesn’t work but what we can do is slow down the movement of drugs from the border”. Lowe also stated "We've seen schools not even willing to offer classes on opioid and fentanyl types of drugs and that has to change". Further Lowe states that Morgan Griffith’s recent “Halt Fentanyl” Act only criminalizes the user and does nothing to actually solve any problems. Griffith's bill did not pass through luckily as it was no solution and would have brought harm to the people in SW VA and this country.. Kimberly is learning from experts what the potential options are to stabilize the lower countries and reform immigration laws with the goal to stop the number of people crossing the border illegally and stop the movement of drugs which are destroying our families.
Kimberly states “the current open border policy is in no way humane or safe for the individuals and families crossing over illegally into America. They risk their lives to trek through areas like the Dorian Gap, then end up in the south of Mexico where the United Nations and the Mexican Government is giving them financial support only for the Mexican Government to transport them to the north of Mexico where they then must pay the cartel to cross the Rio Grande River into America. Many families have to use all the money they have or they are used as drug mules to carry drugs across the water or they are indebted to the cartel. If they can’t pay they are shot and if they don’t pay what they owe to the cartel, their families are murdered. Babies and children are often drugged with a deadly dose of Zoloft so they don’t cry when making the treacherous crossing across the Rio Grande but many end up drowning on the way. Just last week a mom from Haiti’s son drowned while attempting to cross the river. This is in no way humane to have an open border policy and then force people to take a treacherous journey into America by crossing a river and then being indebted to the Mexican cartel. It’s estimated 2 million people from over a hundred countries have attempted entry just in the last year and the death toll in much higher than in year’s past due to the open border policy. Further a large percentage cross without being processed by Border Patrol.”
Kimberly reiterates “The Border Patrol have a really rough job. A large percentage, around 40-50%, are now just processing paperwork of asylum seekers rather than being on the border where they are needed. The morale for Border Patrol is really low right now and the suicide rate is high. They go out and catch a group and play repeat all night long and don’t have equipment, technology, or staffing they need to do their job. They go out and catch a group, bring them back to process them like they have to remove their shoe laces and jewelry for safety reasons, then they are put on government funded buses which take them to local processing facilities. The family units are sent to another facility and then many go to NGO’s where they are then bused to another city and flown out to their host family. It’s still unclear who exactly these host families are since many times the same address is used again and again. Border Patrol also sees children being “recycled” where they are released and come back in with another family since single adults are sent back. According to DHS statistics only 59% are expelled under Title 42 (CDC Guidelines) and the Border Patrol are able to make decision on who is able to stay or be expelled under Title 42, otherwise decisions are made by ERO or HSI or USCIS. Mexican Nationals are released back to Mexico and those from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are flown back under a delayed Title 42 or sent back to Mexico if planes are not available. Sadly potentially up to 50% are kidnapped on the Mexican side once they are released back into Mexico. The Border Patrol is releasing women during the day to make it safer. Currently at the border they are seeing an influx from the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Venezuela.” Lowe continues stating “The cartel will send people across the water in small groups as a distraction while bigger loads of drugs are crossed over. In just one border crossing area it’s estimated that 80 million dollars worth of drugs are smuggled across per week.” Lowe also learned that not every border entry is quite the same, for example, “In the Valley area like La Joya and McAllen people are sent over the water and wear a wrist band to designate which Cartel got them across. The people spend up to $10,000 to cross the river and get three chances from the same cartel is they keep their bracelet but Border Patrol cuts the bracelets off when they arrive and you can see them laying everywhere on the ground. They also take off many of their clothes when they cross the river because they are so wet but the clothes remain there along with id’s and sim cards they don’t want Border Patrol to see.”
Lowe states “The reality is that this is not a humane or safe way for people to enter the United States. Further the country is being flooded with people who are supported with our tax payer dollars until they have trial yet many don’t show up for trial and many can easily obtain a fake ID to obtain government funding. With border patrol busy doing paperwork which really allows more to cross into America, this is a National Security risk allowing terrorists from all over the world to enter America. This is one of the largest national issues that needs to be addressed due to the cost on American citizens, the safety of Americans, the humanitarian crisis for those truly coming here for economic reasons, the human trafficking crisis, and the opioid epidemic which is destroying lives across the nation. It’s estimated that 20% of all of our communities are people trafficked from the border. Being at the border didn’t feel like America. It’s feels like a third world country and a military zone and it’s a place where Americans are not safe where ranchers and landowners have been held at knife and gunpoint and always have smugglers crossing through their backyard. As far as the opioid epidemic is concerned, Lowe will strive to offer real policy solutions that actually solve the border crisis rather than punish the user which is completely ineffective in solving any issue with the opioid epidemic, and Lowe will strive to make sure policies are put into effect which stop the unsafe migration of people into America because in actuality they are here for economic reasons not for seeking asylum.