Tags: Immigration | adam kinzinger | emergency | border security | drug cartels

Kinzinger: I Saw State of Emergency at the Border

rep. adam kinzinger
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R.-Ill. (AP)

Thursday, 28 February 2019 10:34 AM Current | Bio | Archive

By far one of the most powerful arguments made before the House vote Tuesday to stop President Trump’s state of emergency over border security was that of Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R.-Ill.

“I will vote for the state of emergency,” Kinzinger told a hushed House GOP Conference shortly before the vote, “because I saw a state of emergency at the border.”

He was referring to his recent stint at the as an Air National Guard officer assigned to the southern Arizona portion of the border with Mexico. 

“I was literally neutral [on the emergency issue],” explained Kinzinger, who publicly announced in 2016 he would not vote for Donald Trump,   “I probably would have leaned toward it had I not gone, but I came back very convinced.” (With thirteen House Republicans joining every Democrat, the vote on Tuesday was 245 to 182 to overturn the declaration of emergency).

“I knew the declaration of emergency was a possibility, so I wanted to see firsthand what it was like,” Kinzinger told Newsmax, “and when I came back, I knew we had a real problem.”

The five-term congressman recalled that “quite often, you would see people who would drop bundles.  They’d drop them on the spot. Some of the bundles could be the backpacks they were carrying.  But in many cases, the bundles contained drugs — like meth.  One of my crew found that a guy had seven pounds of meth on him.”

But the pivotal reason for his support of the emergency declaration, Kinzinger explained, was his first-hand experience with the notorious “coyotes.”

“Coyotes work for drug cartels and people give them their life savings to guide them over the border,” he told us, “At the first sign of trouble, the coyotes abandon them in the desert. 

“I saw one case where the coyotes abandoned one woman and we found her.  Maybe she would have survived in the desert, maybe she would not have. In the meantime, the coyotes took her money and made the drug cartels stronger.”

Referring to the argument of wall opponents that “the mountains are the wall,” Kinzinger concluded from his own experience on the border “they’re not impenetrable — we’re not talking about Mount Everest.”

The congressman took “a video of a Blackhawk helicopter pursuing a guy, running twenty feet away.  We followed him for thirty minutes and we had to let him go because we couldn’t drop anyone in to get him.  Someone running like that is a drug dealer or a mule [a smuggler who carries drugs on his person].”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.


Kinzinger noted that wall opponents -- “who are well-meaning in their own way” -- think a wall is not compassionate and agreed that Republicans “have not done a good job of explaining that border security is compassion.”

“When you give false hope to Central Americans and you say ‘give us your life savings and we’ll get you there,’ and then you abandon them, that’s not compassion,” he said, “A compassionate country says that there’s a way you can apply to become an American.  If you apply and you get a green card, then come here the safe way.”

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By far one of the most powerful arguments made before the House vote Tuesday to stop President Trump’s state of emergency over border security was that of Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R.-Ill.
adam kinzinger, emergency, border security, drug cartels
Thursday, 28 February 2019 10:34 AM
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