A group of Republican women running for public office came together from different regions across the country last week just outside of McAllen, Texas, on the banks of the Rio Grande to see first hand the ongoing border crisis.
The group, made up of eight women running for Congress and Senate, was brought together by the conservative women’s advocacy group Winning For Women, led by founder Annie Dickerson, and national security advocacy organization POLARIS National Security, led by former State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus.
The women’s aim was to bring a new perspective to addressing the “humanitarian” issues at the border as they continued fighting in their respective races to bring fresh voices to Washington, D.C. and finally fix an issue that they collectively argued was being “ignored” by President Biden’s administration and the Democrats.
In addition to Dickerson and Ortagus, the group included Rep. Mayra Flores (Texas’ 34th Congressional District), Cassy Garcia (Texas’ 28th Congressional District), Monica De La Cruz (Texas’ 15th Congressional District), Amanda Adkins (Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (Oregon’s 5th Congressional District), April Becker (Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District), Jen Kiggans (Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District), and Washington Republican Senate nominee Tiffany Smiley.
Smiley, Becker, Adkins and Chavez-DeRemer sought to shine light on the border’s role in exasperating the drug crisis affecting each of their states and districts, despite none of them being geographically near the border.
“I came here to speak, really, for women and families in my district,” Adkins told Fox News Digital. “In our district people care deeply about high quality of life. They worry about crime. I know from my own sheriffs that crime in our district, underlined, it is always caused and connected to drugs.”
“It is not lost on people that drugs cross the Southern border, [go] straight up I-35 and into our community. So a lot of people, and parents in particular, are very, very worried about that drug flow because it has really contributed to an increase in drug overdoses in our state,” she added. “So even in my own community, even though we are not a state right on the Southern border, there’s still a significant impact.”
Becker stressed the impact drugs laced with fentanyl were causing in the Las Vegas area, which saw a record number of deaths due to the illicit drug last year. She predicted the crisis would continue to get worse if tighter restrictions were not enacted at the border.
“This isn’t just an issue that’s affecting these border states. It’s affecting Las Vegas. It’s my community and my district,” Becker told Fox News Digital. “We have the highest number of deaths between 18 and 45 years old due to fentanyl, which is pouring over these borders. And until we lock down these borders and get control of what’s happening, it’s going to continue to get worse. And that affects everyone.”
Chavez-DeRemer echoed Becker’s sentiment, highlighting the fentanyl deaths Oregon has experienced, and placing blame squarely on the Biden administration’s policies not addressing the issue of drug cartels.
“What you’re seeing is the drug cartels, and how powerful they really are and how this administration isn’t addressing that. We talk about why [migrants] are coming to America — we’re talking about money, and we’re talking about drugs, and we’re talking about how they can exploit Latinos from Mexico, but also exploit the American population,” she said.
“So when I talk about Oregon… what we have to address is the fentanyl crisis. Because of this open border, these failed policies, it allows for that drug crisis and drug cartels to traffic right up into Oregon and our fentanyl crisis is higher than the national average in deaths,” she added. “These are our families and our future, and we have to make sure that we pay attention to what’s happening to that.”
Smiley told Fox News Digital that the crisis at the border was worse than she originally thought, citing the exploitation and treatment of migrants by the cartels, in addition to the issue of drugs pouring across the border.
“We know that we have a fentanyl and opioid crisis in Washington state. And, in fact, King County declared a public emergency on it. It’s killing our kids,” she said.
“I’ve heard the stories across Washington state. We know it’s coming through our southern border. So I wanted to come down here and see it for myself. I wanted to hear the stories. I wanted to talk to the sheriff. I wanted to talk to the agents that are caring for women and children who are coming across. And it’s worse than what I thought,” she added.
Flores, De La Cruz and Garcia, who are all running in congressional districts along the Southern border, sought to highlight the horrific treatment of migrants by the cartels, and also the Biden administration’s and Democrats’ treatment of border communities and Hispanic voters.
They each stressed that the Hispanic community was being left behind by the Democratic Party with its leftward swing towards “woke” culture, and that they had found a new home within the Republican Party, whose values they said aligned with Hispanics.
“Democrats try to push their message onto Hispanics at no avail. They’re not looking at what our values are, they’re not talking about our values, they continue to force down our throat this woke consciousness, and messages that simply just don’t resonate with Hispanics,” De La Cruz told Fox News Digital following a meeting with Border Patrol agents and their families.
“I believe that Hispanics, finally, are having an awakening where they see that the Democrat Party has just moved so far to the left and no longer represents their values of faith, of family, and the American dream,” she added before accusing the Biden administration of not caring about communities along the Southern border, most of which are largely Hispanic, because of their insistence that there is no ongoing migrant crisis.
Garcia joined De La Cruz in arguing that Democrats had “failed” the people of South Texas with their border policies, and said that the values of the party no longer aligned with Hispanic voters.
“The Republican Party is the party of opportunity, and the reason why I’m running for Congress is to defend faith, family and freedom. We are pro-God, we are pro-family, we are pro-country. The Democrats have left the Hispanic community. That’s why we’re going to see more Democrats vote Republican come this November,” she told Fox News Digital.
Garcia went on to express shock at the horror stories shared with her by local officials concerning the treatment of migrants by Mexican cartel members, as well as how their free-reign over some areas was terrorizing local communities even on the U.S. side of the border.
Flores echoed Garcia’s disgust for the horrors befalling migrants attempting to make the perilous journey through cartel controlled areas, including rape, murder and exploitation, and called for reforms to the U.S. immigration system that would make it easier for people to become citizens through a legal route.
Flores similarly blasted the Biden administration’s border policies for how they affect Hispanics and all Americans, and predicted Democrats’ approach to Hispanic voters would lead to the party’s defeat in November.