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Ernst Shares Harrowing Stories from the Border

In response to her recent border visit, Ernst has introduced a new effort to curtail cartel activity.

WASHINGTON – After an eye-opening and educational trip to the U.S.-Mexico border, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) shared stories with her colleagues and the press about what she witnessed. In response to the border visit, Ernst introduced a new effort to target cartel spotters and increase penalties for those aiding and abetting illegal activity on the border.

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Click HERE or the image above to watch the full video.

In a press conference yesterday, the senator described one account, shared with her by a pilot in Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Air and Marine Operations, of a mother who had to leave behind the body of her toddler during her trek across the border’s desert terrain: “One of the pilots told us that there was a two-day period where they were searching for the body of a toddler that had been left behind by the toddler’s mother. The mother had told the agents when she was doing her intake that she had to leave her toddler behind. She gave them an approximate location of where the toddler would be located. They searched for two days and were unable to find the body of the child.”


Click HERE or the image above to read more from Fox.

Ernst shared the disturbing reports she heard from Border Patrol of girls – as young as five or six – being sexually abused by cartels and coyotes: "The Border Patrol told us that about 30% of the women and girls that are being trafficked by the cartels up to the border are being sexually abused along the way. And those are just the ones that are reporting. So the Border Patrol agents feel that 60% of them having been abused would be a more accurate number. It really is appalling," Ernst told Fox News.


Click HERE or the image above to read more from The Washington Times.

The Washington Times recounted a story shared with them by Senator Ernst about a former Marine she met on her trip. The Marine, who served in Afghanistan, described his time on the border as comparable to his time in the military: “He said, ‘I feel like I am in Afghanistan all over again.’…‘I have seen more dead bodies here’ than he did in Afghanistan. He said, ‘Replace the Taliban with the cartel’ because they are basically the same type of organization: They control all of the land there, they control who goes in, who goes out,” Ms. Ernst said.


Click HERE or the image above to watch her full remarks.

While speaking to press in Texas, Ernst highlighted what she has heard from her local law enforcement in Iowa about the flow of drugs through the porous border and into cities across the country: “The methamphetamine, the fentanyl – all that is running up I-35, into communities like Mason City and Des Moines in Iowa. Ninety-nine percent of that, my law enforcement officials say, is coming right out of Mexico.”