Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., on Thursday warned that the U.S. has "no operational control" of the border after a trip to Texas in which he and a number of other Republicans saw migrants streaming into the U.S. and being put on flights to other states.
"We have no operational control, no legal control, no law enforcement control of our border," Good said in an interview with Fox News. "We are not enforcing our laws, we are not preventing people. This is willful and intentional on the part of this administration to facilitate the illegal entry into our country of tens of thousands, 180,000 in [the] month of May…some 700,000 this year, of the ones we’ve apprehended."
Good and a number of other lawmakers from the Republican Study Committee visited McAllen, Texas this week in a visit that coincided with a visit by former President Donald Trump and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
The 20 Republicans went to the border itself around midnight, and Good described a stream of migrants coming through and turning themselves over to Border Patrol with no effort to evade apprehension -- even going so far as to seek out Border Patrol.
"We saw hundreds coming through in just a short time, we were there about midnight and just saw many many folks coming across the border, many illegals streaming across," he said.
He said that while there were many families and children showing up, it raised the question of how many are getting past Border Patrol, who have frequently faced significant surges in migrants coming past them -- and have also apprehended MS-13 gang members and child sex offenders trying to get into the U.S.
"The crafty, the most cunning, most dangerous ones are trying to evade apprehension and they’re estimating tens of thousands of those on a monthly basis as well, and all of it controlled…by the Mexican crime cartels who are making hundreds of millions of dollars a month off of this," he said.
Good said that as he left McAllen on a flight to Dallas International Airport, many on the plane were illegal immigrants who were clutching manila folders -- which are believed to contain a DHS "Notice to Appear." However, those demands to appear in court currently do not include court dates -- with a "to be determined" in the date box.
"I would estimate a third of people on that flight were illegal aliens who had their manila folders with some information marked on there to help them navigate the transportation through the airport and onto the plane," he said.
His team spoke with a Guatemalan woman, who was purportedly traveling by herself and did not speak English. The 31-year-old was on her way to Dallas, and then onto Miami, Florida. She had a "Notice to Appear" with a "to be determined" for a court date.
"So here she is in McAllen taking the same flight we are to Dallas and, I presume from there from Dallas to Miami with no specific day on when she has to appear, and I guess we’re just hoping we'll be able to reach her at some date in the future and tell her when to appear," Good said.
Officials have said that the TBD is because the Department of Justice is not currently holding non-detained immigration hearings. They are scheduled to resume in July. More than 60,000 migrants have been released into the U.S. with either a notice to appear in court, or at a local Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office.
Republicans have torn into the Biden administration for its handling of the crisis at the border, specifically the rollback of Trump-era policies like the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), as well as narrowing interior enforcement.
The Biden administration has pushed back, saying that it is focusing on the "root causes" of the crisis, like poverty, climate change and violence in Central America. Meanwhile, it has hailed its efforts to process migrants, particularly unaccompanied children, into the U.S. as quickly as possible and has claimed its strategy is working.
"They have instituted technology that over the last couple of months has expedited, in a very significant way, processing of people who are arriving at our border," Vice President Kamala Harris said during a visit to El Paso, Texas last month.
But, as other officials have claimed the border is not open, Rep. Good says that message isn’t being heard by the migrants coming up.
"The memo has not been received by these illegal aliens who continue to stream across because there is no prevention there at the border we can see," he said. "It’s just accommodating them once they get across."