U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Western Springs, and 16 other members of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus visited the southern border to learn more about the situation there last week.
The trip included visits to a border patrol station, a nonprofit caring for unaccompanied minors, and a center where immigrants are processed when they are initially apprehended, according to a news release. The members spoke with Customs and Border Patrol agents, nonprofit employees and the migrants themselves.
“My observation was that everyone is facing a difficult situation and trying to make the best of it, not only the immigrants, but everyone caring for them, including members of the CBP,” Lipinski said.
Lipinski called the trip informative and moving. He said they heard more about how the recently passed $4.5 billion in emergency funding was assisting border personnel.
“It’s important to note that we did not see everything, and I understand how critical it is that there is continual oversight to make sure that everyone is providing the best care they can for immigrants,” he said.
Lipinski said what stood out to him most was the “plight of the immigrants” and many of those he saw were children.
“One was a 10-month-old boy who had been brought by someone who wasn’t his father, and his parents had yet to be found,” Lipinski said. “Seeing them ... was heart-rending.”