ST. JOSEPH — U.S. Rep Fred Upton visited the U.S.-Mexico border Friday to get a closer look at the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

Upton, R-St. Joseph, was joined by 16 other legislators from the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus.

Upton said the group’s visit to the southern border was “incredibly sobering” and noted the border crisis will “only get worse by doing nothing.”

“We wanted to see first-hand the challenges our border patrol agents are facing and hear from them directly about what work still needs to be done,” Upton said in a news release. “The folks I traveled with (Friday) have some good suggestions about how we can address the crisis and secure our borders. We are committed to working together on finding a solution that makes up for the failures of the past.”

Upton referred to the visit as a “fact-finding mission.”

The members toured a point of entry, a border patrol station, and a centralized processing center and participated in briefings and discussions with border patrol agents.

The members visited facilities along the border in the Rio Grande Valley.

“I have heard from countless folks at home that one of their number one concerns is immigration,” Upton said in the release. “They want our border secure, they care about our nation’s security, and they are deeply concerned about the humanitarian crisis that is overwhelming our broken immigration system.”

At the end of June, the U.S. House passed $4.5 billion in emergency funding for the humanitarian crisis on the border after the Problem Solvers Caucus advocated for House leadership to support it.

Upton was joined Friday by U.S. Reps. Smucker, Phillips, Reed, Watkins, Spanberger, Meuser, Lee, Gonzalez, Lipinski, Larsen, Trone, Mitchell, Beyer, McAdams, Schrader and Slotkin.

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