Senate Democrats visit border

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, is today leading a Democratic delegation of senators in a tour of Rio Grande Valley immigration detention facilities.

The lawmakers will “investigate, inspect, and evaluate conditions at the facilities on the southern border,” according to a statement issued by Schumer’s office Friday.

The visit comes precisely one week after Vice President Mike Pence led Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a similar tour of facilities in McAllen and Donna last Friday.

The vice president was joined by acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin A. McAleenan, as well as other high-ranking border officials in tours meant to dispel what President Donald Trump has characterized as “slanderous” reporting of immigration agents, Pence said last week.

Schumer is being joined by a dozen Democratic senators, including:

Democratic Whip Dick Durbin, D-IL; Sens. Jeff Merkley, D-OR; Bob Menendez, D-NJ; Ron Wyden D-OR; Jack Reed D-RI; Ben Cardin D-MD; Bob Casey D-PA; Chris Coons D-DE; Richard Blumenthal D-CT; Brian Schatz D-HI; Angus King I-ME; and Jacky Rosen D-NV.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn issued a statement in advance of the Democratic visit to the Rio Grande Valley. “Democrats had a chance to visit the border with us in a bipartisan way last week but refused,” Cornyn said. “We have an ongoing humanitarian and security crisis and now is not the time to play politics – it’s a time to come together.”