U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, R-La., Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and James Lankford, R-Okla., with CBP agents in McAllen, Texas.

WASHINGTON – Following her visit to the Texas-Mexico border, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called on her Democratic colleagues to step up and work across the aisle to find solutions to the humanitarian crisis at the border during a press conference on Wednesday. Ernst reiterated the need to secure our border and close the asylum loopholes in our existing immigration laws.

Ernst visited the Southern Border near McAllen, Texas, which included tours of a number of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) facilities. Ernst met with DHS officials and border patrol agents who stressed the importance of sweeping changes to our broken immigration system.

“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the crisis we’re facing at our southern border is real,” Ernst said in a released statement after visiting the border. “Facilities are over capacity, the backlogs in asylum processing are skyrocketing, and our border patrol agents—who serve tirelessly 24/7—are being forced to forgo their enforcement duties due to the mass influx of migrants coming to our doorstep.”

“The situation is tough and addressing it will not be easy nor will it happen overnight. Congress has taken a step toward helping the situation, and in a bipartisan way, by providing emergency funding for migrant care. As I saw this weekend, these funds have helped give additional support and resources to the facilities. But there is so much more work to be done,” she added.

“Providing care to migrants is a non-negotiable, but so is securing our border and permanently fixing the loopholes that exist in our current immigration system. Iowans across the state see and feel the effects of the tremendous flow of drugs pouring into this country, and we can all agree that this humanitarian crisis has to be remedied. Congress must act, and must do so now—and that includes our Democratic colleagues who are nowhere to be found when it comes to solutions to fixing this crisis,” Ernst concluded.

On Thursday, Ernst offered a resolution commending the men and women of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

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