Rep. Tom Reed told reporters during his weekly conference call that the Problem Solvers Caucus July 19 trip to the United States Southern border increased his intent on toning down partisan rhetoric.

The congressman, who represents the Greater Olean area, reiterated that he believes a crisis exists on the border and noted that cartel activity in the area he visited was rampant. He added that the poor conditions heavily documented by news outlets were evident as he talked to people who work there and saw what he termed their heart-wrenching conditions.  

Reed said that in his view, “What the border agents are doing at the border is humane, is done out of caring hearts, and is doing the best with the crisis-level influx of people coming through the border that they have to recognize and process as folks are flowing across the border illegally."

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He said the cartels were trying to distract the attention of border officials to areas where they could sneak a group of people in a certain area, a diversion tactic designed to make the ports of entry weaker.

He said he does not blame border officials; he blames Congress.   

“What you have here is the logistical crisis created by having facilities that are not designed, that were not anticipated to hold the thousands of people that are coming to America in this broken immigration system,” he said.  “And that is why the root cause of this are the laws of America and the spineless political leaders that won’t lead to solve this issue.”

He said he saw a six-month-old baby with a man who claimed to be the father. When the man was threatened with a DNA-test, he admitted that he had bartered for the child and had been told that having a baby would be his quickest and most effective way in. 

Reed said that he was struck in seeing the best of humanity in the border guards and their efforts, and the worst of humanity with the cartels and human traffickers all centered at the same place.  . 

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