EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso Democratic Congresswoman Veronica Escobar on Monday sparred with Republican U.S. House leaders in dueling news conferences after the GOP toured the Texas-Mexico border in El Paso and labeled the current immigration situation "a crisis."
U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy led the 13-member congressional delegation's visit. Those Republicans claim the Biden administration is creating a security and humanitarian crisis through lax immigration policies.
"The new facility that was built, we never thought it would reach capacity of 1,040, hitting capacity today," McCarthy said of the U.S. Border Patrol detention facility at Hondo Pass. "When it does that it takes 120 of agents off their protection of the border."
Another of the GOP members in the delegation, New York Rep. John Katko, alleged that terrorists are coming over the border from Mexico.
"The people they've caught in the last few days in Sector 3 have been under terror watch lists - individuals they have on watch lists for terrorism are now starting to exploit the southern border," Katko said. "We need to wake up."
But Escobar defended the Biden administration, saying as she has several times in recent days that it is not to blame for the migrant surge. She said the Trump administration's actions caused the current border problems because it "deliberately dismantled and damaged" the nation's immigration system that Biden has inherited.
Escobar also pushed back on Katko's allegations on terrorism, equating it to the same falsehoods told by some Republicans who claim Trump actually won the presidential election.
Escobar said in conversations she's had recently with both the Homeland Security secretary and the Border Patrol sector chief, they've never made any mention of terrorists crossing the border in El Paso.
“When folks want to use fear to get the American public to believe that the southern border is a place to be feared -- that’s what in fact has created the billions of dollars in waste militarizing communities like mine when we have yet to get any reports of the accusation that terrorists are coming through the southern border.”
You can watch both news conferences in the video players below.