By Kim Passoth
LAS VEGAS (KVVU) — A surge of migrants at the US-Mexico Border is overwhelming already-stretched resources. December border crossings reached a record more than 225,000 in just one month. Nevada’s Senators traveled to see the issues firsthand.
Senators Jacky Rosen and Catherine Cortez Masto visited the Nogales-Mariposa Port of Entry in Arizona. They met with law enforcement in order to assess security needs. They also went to a migrant shelter to learn about the flood of migrants and the humanitarian need.
“They are very overwhelmed. We need to get them those resources,” Senator Jacky Rosen asserted after her third trip to the border. “We need to look at our asylum process and our refugee process being sure that is humane and orderly, and it is really there for those who truly need it,” Rosen contended.
While migrants surge across the border, agents say they desperately need help especially in remote areas between ports of entry, both with more manpower and infrastructure.
“We know this from rural frontier Nevada, there are places without broadband and cell service, so they need broadband and cell service everywhere along the border and in our ports of entry and other places. They need it to really be boosted up,” Rosen stated. Rosen believes a boost in technology at ports of entry can help slow the flow of drugs smuggled into the country especially using x-ray type scanning machines.
“Artificial intelligence helps to show them where something isn’t exactly right. They pull those cars or trucks out of the line and that is where the agents do the deep dive,” Rosen explained. As the Southern Nevada Health District reported a record number of fentanyl overdose deaths last year, a record amount of fentanyl was seized at the Mariposa Port, an effort Rosen wants supported.
“That means they are doing their job. That means these things are working so we need to invest more so we can stop everything we can,” Rosen argued.
In order to get funding and make changes, a group of senators working with Rosen and Cortez Masto is now writing legislation. Rosen expects it to be complete within about a week.
Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers are pointing the finger at Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for border issues and in some cases calling for his impeachment. A vote of no confidence was blocked by Senate Democrats Tuesday, just one day before House Republicans start impeachment proceedings against Mayorkas.
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