A furious Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis blasted President Biden for causing the “inhumane and horrible” border crisis after traveling to Texas for a first-hand look.
“President Biden has turned over our border to the cartels,” the Republican from Staten Island told The Post after a Friday visit to the Rio Grande Valley with a group of House GOP colleagues.
“It angered me to see how the smugglers have just taken over,” she said. “It’s completely chaotic.
“How could anybody who has a heart let this go on, knowing how people are being exploited?” she asked.
According to US Customs and Border Patrol agents who briefed the legislators, Mexican cartels are taking advantage of Biden’s porous border policies to make billions.
“The bottom line is, this is a business for the cartels,” Malliotakis said. “They are making an estimated half-billion dollars a month — first with human trafficking, then with the guns, the drugs. And one feeds off the other.”
With CBP resources strained as officers tend the migrants the cartels have sent flooding over the border — 172,000 people in March alone — the criminals can freely shuttle weapons, narcotics, gang members, and even potential terrorists into the US through unguarded areas, the lawmakers were told.
“They said the cartels exploit children to use them as scouts” as the criminals cross the Rio Grande in rafts and small boats, Malliotakis said.
“And if CBP comes too close — in one case two weeks ago, the smugglers threw a 6-month-old over the raft into the water, because it diverted the agents to go save the baby and let them get away.”
Cartels are actively recruiting migrants from far beyond Central America, she was told: at least 60 countries are represented at the migrant holding facility in Donna, Tex.
“It’s not like these people are coming spontaneously,” Malliotakis said. “This is an organized criminal operation that President Biden has allowed to occur by undoing the actions that President Trump took to try to create some order at the border.”
Malliotakis snapped photos of children “sleeping on top of each other” under reflective blankets in the Donna holding center — which was built for 250 people but now houses 4,000 migrants for weeks at a time.
“These kids are in what they call a pod. It’s meant for 33 people, but you have like 100 of them in there. Zero social distancing,” she explained.
Tiny sneakers and flip-flops were placed carefully along the clear plastic sides of the packed pod as a flat-screen TV ran cartoons in a far corner.
“We saw kids who were crying, very scared and alone,” Malliotakis said. “The ones who were sent by themselves — they don’t know why they’re there, they don’t know where their families are. Absolutely heartbreaking.”
Earlier, the delegation visited a makeshift migrant intake center a mile from the Rio Grande in McAllen, Tex. — hastily created weeks ago beneath a bridge overpass to process the constant flood of new arrivals. About 1,000 people show up there nightly, Malliotakis was told.
Hundreds of children and adults sat for hours on metal benches bounded by orange plastic construction netting before they could be interviewed by CBP agents.
“It looked like a medical office, just people waiting their turn to be called,” Malliotakis said.
As the officials walked the dirt path leading to the river’s edge, “We had groups of migrants pass us as we went along,” she said. “Many of them were holding babies and small children” — because they and the cartels know that under Biden’s executive order, anyone traveling with a child under age 7 won’t be turned away.
“A broken policy that is being exploited by these smugglers,” Malliotakis charged.
It’s no surprise, she said, that Roberta Jacobson, the former US ambassador to Mexico who had served as Biden’s “border czar,” announced her departure Friday.
“Even his ‘czar’ recognizes that this is a national disgrace and a direct result of President Biden’s misguided executive orders,” Malliotakis said. “It’s only going to get worse unless the President admits this failure and undoes his policies.”
But first, she said, Biden and Harris — whom Biden tapped to handle the border policy last month — must see the debacle for themselves.
“The president should be here to hear from the customs and border officers who are begging for assistance,” she said. “And Kamala Harris has been given this responsibility. She needs to come here and see what we saw.
“I don’t know how anyone could see this and not call it a humanitarian crisis,” she said. “And it’s all being encouraged by our president.”