A "fact-finding" mission at the border with Mexico led a Hudson Valley politician to believe "we are in a multifaceted crisis."

Assemblyman Colin Schmitt for the 99th NYS Assembly District completed his five-day personally funded trip to the Texas-Mexico border where he hoped to learn more about illegal immigration.

On Wednesday, Schmitt (R,C,I-New Windsor) toured 1.8 miles of a border fence with the Val Verde County Texas Sheriff’s Department. He visited legal ports of entry, examined illegal land and water border crossing locations visited an immigration emergency shelter and addressed US Border Patrol Agents and US Army Soldiers.

“What I witnessed and discovered in Val Verde County Texas is a far cry from what is being relayed to the general public. We are in a multifaceted crisis,"  Schmitt stated. "At the forefront are the threats to national security we face at the border with the inability to fully secure against and deter illegal entry and drug trafficking. Then we have the humanitarian side where men, women and children are being exploited by cartels and transnational criminal entities. They end up in our nation in need of immediate emergency relief services. All who have arrived illegally to our country at some point had to interface with cartels to make it here."

According to Schmitt, issues at the border with Mexico impact his district in Orange County because many immigrants arrested by ICE are kept at the Orange County Jail.

"What the illegal immigrants stated to me and shelter volunteers echoed that I find critically important- US Border Patrol and law enforcement have treated illegal immigrants humanely and with respect. Not a single bad word was used to describe interactions with or treatment by the US Government or its law enforcement agents," he said. "This crisis can be solved with truth and desire to do the right thing. I will be releasing more comments and a report on this fact finding mission in the coming days. New York State’s actions and rhetoric regarding immigration is a significant exasperating factor of this crisis. As Assemblyman I plan to bring this reality to my colleagues during debate and discussion on legislation. We cannot continue to do harm and create pull factors which hurt our state, our nation and lead to the exploitation of men, women and children by cartel."

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