Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 7, 2016

Congressman ‘Shocked’ to Find Dead Body on Border Tour

Rep. Leonard Lance was on a routine congressional tour of the Texas-Mexico border last week when the trip became a morbid reminder of the stakes involved in an immigration overhaul.

Along with Reps. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., the New Jersey Republican discovered a dead body floating face down in the Rio Grande.

“I’ve never seen a dead body in a violent situation,” Lance told CQ Roll Call via phone Thursday. “It shocked me.”

The trio of lawmakers were riding on border patrol boats along the dividing river as part of the last leg of a three-day border security tour when the convoy spotted the lifeless body of a Honduran man believed to have been killed in the ongoing Mexican drug wars.

Lance was on one boat while McCaul and Yoder were on another. All the congressmen were wearing bulletproof vests, as the area they were patrolling was a “relatively dangerous region,” according to Lance.

“It was a vivid reminder that we have to secure our border and do it as quickly as possible,” Lance said Thursday.

Initially, Lance said he believed the body, which he described as wearing dark clothes and floating face down, could have been someone seeking residency in the United States.

The congressmen were later told the body was thought to have been the victim of drug violence.

“These drug cartels are despicable,” Lance said. “We have to look ourselves in the mirror because it’s the American people, some of whom are the demand side of this ‘supply and demand’ problem.”

Lance said the whole experience underscored the importance of passing immigration legislation, starting with Homeland Security Chairman McCaul’s border security bill.

McCaul’s bill would establish a number of border security metrics for officials to report to Congress on.

“In this sector, it’s woefully inadequate,” McCaul told The Associated Press. “This sector probably needs more resources than any on the U.S.-Mexico border.”

McCaul organized the trip for the group, who saw the border along Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

“My colleagues and I saw firsthand the tragedies of this border and the loss of life when we saw a body floating just a few minutes ago on this river,” McCaul told the AP last week. “And that is a sad fact of this border.”

  • HR Hamilton

    If he is shocked, he has not been paying attention.

  • megapotamus

    The drug cartels are indeed disgustingly violent. If it weren’t for the so-called War on Drugs, an illegal monstrosity, they would not exist. Seems like an alleged Republican should know that. Pity.

    • mikegiles

      Reality Check. Both parties have pushed the War on Drugs. BUT especially the Democrats, because it serves two purpose for them. One, it facilitates the growth of those government bureaucracies they are so in love with. Not to mention the public workers unions, that go along with those bureaucracies. And two, it allows the government to ride roughshod over our Constitutional rights; with their No Knock raids and warrantless searches.

  • NeoKong

    The sad part is that if that Honduran was not murdered and somehow evaded Border Patrol there are many Reps. and Senators who would make him a citizen no questions asked.
    For all they know he could be a violent killer too.

  • icthelite

    Part of his message, “it’s the American people, some of whom are the demand side of this ‘supply and demand’ problem.” is what is ironic when we have someone like Holder the AG for the USA wanting to put drug users, buyers and distributor back on the streets with only a threat of possible lighter sentencing for future violations so they can contribute to and expand the use of these problem narcotics in our society. Go figure.

    I guess this goes hand in hand with supplying the drug cartels weapons they use to kill US Custom agents.

  • icthelite

    Maybe now Lance understands the importance of making sure that this time around [the last being in 1985/6 with Reagan] the issue of border security is dealt with ‘first’ before we turn more dead beats loose in our society. We were promised secure borders back then, never got them.

    So this time as they say, “pay it forward liberals”, your promises are nothing more than hollow words and this is a fact that has been proven many, many times over and over again

  • eddodt

    a honduran man’ death is due to drug wars in mexico?…i think not…more likely a coyote killed him after demanding more money.

  • Andre Leonard

    Sounds like Mr. Lance has been in a closet the last 20 years. Where do we find these people and how do they get elected to Congress?

  • Gerald Miller

    So it actually takes seeing a body floating in the Rio Grande for some members of Congress to believe there’s a problem at our open borders? Haven’t they read any of the stats? Do they not believe the stats? And, if that is true, then what will it take for them to believe that hundreds of our children are being trafficked each year, that hundreds more are abused in their homes, and that hundreds more are killed in their homes? Do we need to give them tours of morgues where the children lay?

    Many of the people in Congress are attorneys or other professionals. They are NOT stupid. I think they are just lazy. They take many, many weeks of vacation and recess every year. Some go through their entire term without so much as co-authoring or authoring ONE bill, or spear heading or heading ONE investigation! They admittedly don’t always read the pending legislation before voting on it! How lazy is THAT???!!!

    I’m glad they got to see a bloated, floating body that may haunt some of their waking and sleeping hours. If that what it takes for them to get off their arzz and get a bill passed that would secure our borders, then great. You’d think the Republicans would have a VERY special interest in securing the border because it was their own President Reagan who promised it would be secure if the then Congress passed his Amnesty bill. They passed it but he did NOT follow through with his promise. THAT is part of the negative legacy he passed to the American people (along with his gun sales to Nicaragua.)

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