Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds was asked to respond to criticism that her trip to the southern border is more about politics than anything else. She swiftly swatted away those claims.
“You’re missing the entire purpose of the whole trip and what we’ve done,” she said. “If that’s the takeaway, then that’s part of the problem. People aren’t looking at the data, they’re not looking at the statistics.”
Reynolds reminded reporters 14,000-18,000 illegal migrants were under a bridge in Del Rio and disseminated into the United States. And 15,000 of them are in the country and nobody knows how they’ll be tracked or where they’re at or what has happened to them.
She talked about the story that The Iowa Standard broke earlier this year involving the plane of unaccompanied children that landed in Des Moines and then bussed children throughout the midwest.
“I told the story about 19 unaccompanied girls that were flown into the Des Moines Airport in the middle of the night and then bordered on a charter bus and sent who knows where,” she said. “We had no knowledge of that. He needs to be transparent.”
Reynolds said the number one responsibility for governors is to respect the health and safety of Iowans.
Governors across the country are seeing an increase in fentanyl and meth coming from across the border. She said the cartel is making $400 million a month smuggling people across the border.
“And that doesn’t even take into account the drugs,” she said. “They are lacing pot. They are putting it in pills. And the purity of the fentanyl that is crossing the border and making its way to the states if horrific — the damage that it can do.”
She said there has been 10,500 pounds of fentanyl confiscated — which obviously doesn’t figure in the amount that has made it through.
“It takes 2 milligrams to be fatal,” she said. “That’s enough fentanyl to kill seven times the United States population. So if you think this is a political stunt, then people better wake up because this is what’s coming across our border and this is what’s coming into our state and we’re going to see this continue to escalate.”
Reynolds added that “drugs, guns and terrorists” are coming across the border.
“No, it’s not a political stunt,” she added. “This is the real thing. Biden owns this. This is a self-inflicted crisis. He overturned all the policies that worked.”
The president of the border patrol has served for 25 years, Reynolds said, and this is the worst he’s ever seen the border.
Reynolds was also asked what she felt she would gain from visiting the border personally.
“Wouldn’t it be nice if the President of the United States and the Vice President of the United States took the time to come down to the border to see and to listen to the border patrol agents, to listen to the Texas law enforcement, to listen to the families of the owners of property that butts up against the border,” Reynolds said.
With I-35 and I-80, she said Iowa is a direct route in the midwest to disperse drugs.
“I think it has meaning to come down and see firsthand how expansive the border is, what they’re faced with in protecting it and they’re just walking across the border because the minute that they set their feet on United States soil, then the border patrol has to start the process,” Reynolds said.
Another reporter asked Reynolds to comment on concerns about her being “more welcoming” to migrants.
“We are very welcoming,” she said. “In fact, we are one of the most welcoming countries in the world.”
She pointed to work being done to bring Afghan refugees into America and facilitate their presence.
“But first of all we’re a country of laws and if we don’t follow the law then we’re going to turn into exactly what these other countries are that they’re feeling from,” she said. “There is a process in place…This administration is not abiding by the law or the Constitution. He has a constitutional obligation to protect the border and keeps America safe, and he’s not.”