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GOP Senators at Border Say Human Traffickers Taking Advantage of 'Loophole in Our Law'

Image Source: (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Image Source: (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

The U.S. now has more than 18,000 unaccompanied minors who crossed the border alone in U.S. custody according to federal agencies.  

Republican senators say President Biden's weak immigration policies and campaign rhetoric is causing the surge of migrants coming into the country, who they believe want to get caught.

"There's a loophole in our law that incentivizes people to bring 6-year-old children with them because the Biden administration has changed the law so that if you have a 6-year-old with you, you can't be deported," said Sen. Lindsey Graham in a video posted to Twitter. "They're all processed, put on a bus, and eight hours after being apprehended they're released in the United States." 

In the video, Graham is on a path he says migrants use while coming into the U.S. that leads them to detention centers.

"This path is marked so that people will know where to go to find a detention facility," he continued.

Graham argues that human traffickers are abusing the policy that allows families with children under six to stay.

"It's a humanitarian tragedy but it's literally insane policy," says Graham.

There are many families currently benefiting from the policy. CBN News Senior Washington Correspondent Tara Mergener recently visited Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley's Humanitarian Crisis Respite Center which aids families with young children brought to them by Border Patrol. 

"My message to the American public is not to be afraid of human life, especially because they're not criminals," Sr. Norma Pimentel told CBN News. 

Pimentel says many families arrive to them in crisis – particularly those with young babies.

"We take them from the Border Patrol so we can make sure they're safe because they're moms and children and families that are exposed to great dangers and traffickers and others that want to take advantage of them," explained Pimentel. "They get a chance to eat, to take a shower, to change clothing, to get what a family needs that has been traveling for a while."

"It's our job to help, and care and make sure that they are okay and that we're not contributing to all the suffering that they're encountering," explained Pimentel. 

A bipartisan group of House members led by Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (D-TX) also traveled to the border this weekend – and are calling on the administration to look at the root cause of why people leave their home country.

"We are all getting tired of talking about this every single year and not seeing a true approach to addressing the root causes but for the first time I have hope because we have a White House and for the first time a Vice President dedicated to getting to the bottom of this," Escobar told MSNBC

But Escobar says the current facilities housing unaccompanied minors are unacceptable.

"The conditions have improved significantly but – as the Biden administration has recognized– they are still unacceptable and heartbreaking," Escobar acknowledged in a tweet. "No child should be in a processing center for any period of time and it is our obligation to ensure they are reunited with their families." 

The White House blames the previous administration for the current situation at the border – while Republicans argue Biden should not have rescinded President Trump's policies like halting construction of the border wall.

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