SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Darrell Issa is the lone Republican in the congressional delegation from the San Diego region.
His 48th Congressional District covers a large portion of the border between California and Mexico, and on Wednesday morning, he invited Republican mayors from San Diego County and and Republican congressional candidates to join him on a tour of the border.
U.S. Senate candidate Steve Garvey, a former baseball star in both San Diego and Los Angeles, also came along.
The group started its tour at Border Field State Park, which is home to Friendship Park and the iconic fence that runs into the ocean.
“It’s very important to have our leaders and those who might be our new leaders to come here and see how the Border Patrol, over the years, has come up with better protection to make the border safer and, quite frankly, safer for people on both sides,” Issa said.
Issa and the others also got a chance to get close to the new border barriers that have gone up in this part of the southern border.
“By having this, the Border Patrol doesn’t have to stand here all day, hundreds of them, they can monitor them electronically … it was one of the reasons there were so many efforts to sue and force the Biden administration to finish building these fences or what we often call the wall,” said Issa.
And being near the ocean, Issa felt it was appropriate to remind the others about another issue affecting those just north of the border.
“One of the things I wanted our elected officials to see is this beach here that’s closed because of sewage from the Tijuana River, it’s one of the areas that members of Congress and the administration are pushing with our friends in Mexico to get done, so these beaches can be open again free of sewage.”
The second stop made during the tour took place at an area where migrants have been gathering for months and where dozens show up daily and wait for Border Patrol agents to pick them up.
It’s here where Garvey met with volunteers who have been taking care of the asylum-seekers.
“We talk about illegal immigrants, we talk about a pathway to citizenship, but at the end of the day, it’s about humanity,” said Garvey. “As you see here today, this is the epicenter of keeping people alive, treating their injuries and feeding them giving them clothes and warmth. We have to be concerned about humanity and of course our own people and the stress it puts on our communities.”
The tour culminated at the base of Otay Mountain where there are gaps in the border fences.
This is where many migrants have been entering the U.S. unlawfully for many months.
During the tour, the group drove by dozens of migrants who had been stopped in the area and were about to be transported to a processing center.
El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, who is running for Congress in California’s 51st Congressional District, tweeted about visiting the southern border with Issa on Wednesday.
“Our border is in crisis and the current administration has failed the America people,” he said. “When I’m elected to Congress we will secure our border and keep our country safe.”