RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas — During his visit to the southern U.S. border Friday, Sen. Mike Lee hammered President Biden's response to the current crisis as "bad public policy."
Lee traveled to the border area in the Rio Grande Valley with 17 other Republican U.S. Senators to see the migrants, which include unaccompanied children, who have traveled thousands of miles looking for asylum in the U.S.
Images from the border have shown immigrant teenagers sleeping on mats in crowded conditions, separated in groups by plastic partitions.
"It was a tragically moving experience," said Lee following a tour.
During his comments, Lee brought up the criminal element that profits off the illegal smuggling of people into the country.
"We're a nation of laws. We're a nation of immigrants. We need to be both, we don't have to choose between one and the other."
Lee claims 30 percent of women that attempt to make the journey to the U.S. are subject to sexual assault by the cartel members who take advantage of their situation.
"Meanwhile, over the last month, it's been estimated that these drug cartels are making $14 million every single week smuggling them, abusing them, and contributing to an environment of lawlessness," said Lee.
During his press conference Thursday, Biden noted that while some families have been able to enter the U.S. because Mexico would not allow them to be returned, he said that his administration was working with Mexican officials to end that policy.
Biden also defended his policy of keeping children detained, saying that he would not allow a child to "starve" in the desert or send that child back to their home country.
Lee hopes to close loopholes in policy that encourages immigrants to enter the country by whatever means possible.
"Lawlessness is not compassion. Open borders is not an answer to enabling a thriving of the human condition."