‘It’s chaos down here’: Rep. Owens shares experiences at border

Apr 8, 2021, 9:08 AM
owens border...
Utah Rep. Burgess Owens (second from left) along with Rep Dan Bishop (right) and Rep Tom McClintock (second from right) speak with a Border Patrol agent. (House Judiciary GOP)
(House Judiciary GOP)

Utah’s 4th District Representative Burgess Owens was the latest congressional member from the state to visit the southern border. 

He joined Utah’s Morning News on KSL NewsRadio to share what he saw while there, and what he wished could be done.

An uncorrected transcript of the conversation with Rep. Owens about his border visit follows.


Tim Hughes
And we begin this hour with the top representative Burgess Owens who is the latest congressman from our state to get a first-hand look at the problems at the southern border.

Amanda Dickson
He joins us now live on the KSL Newsline. Good morning, Congressman.

Rep. Burgess Owens
Good morning Tim and Amanda, how you guys doing?

Amanda Dickson
We’re doing great. Would you share with us what you experienced what you witnessed there at the border?

Rep. Burgess Owens
Boy, well, it’s chaos down here. There’s no, no real structure of how to transition people coming from the border right now. We have unaccompanied children, literally from 3 to 10 too. I mean, they’re just coming by themselves. And, and once they get here, of course, they’re processed. And within a few hours there, you know, particularly with families, they’re put on a bus or, or plane someplace going someplace or into the interior. I think the saddest thing I saw was, was I was at a location where they were unaccompanied children, as they’re trying to figure out where the parents might be, and vetting that process. Some, they’re supposed out of there in 72 hours, I saw his young lady about 7 years old, artistic, couldn’t really explain who her parents were. But she just continually cried the entire time I was there, she had been there for 17 days. There’s something needs to be done about this, with this. And I think it’s time Americans, are exposed to what’s happening the border, there’s no, there’s no order anymore. And by the way, this is one of one piece of this human trafficking is another part sex trafficking and child sex trafficking. And those drugs are coming from different parts of our border, that are not being covered as much because they have this, this flush of people walking through and give themselves up. So we have to understand we are up against a very evil cartel. They use people they abuse people they they, they throw people away. And we’re facilitating, we’re not, we’re not stopping at this point. We’re just allowing people to test this ground and then continue to come through. And if we don’t have some border, our country stops being our country. And we need to really understand across the board, no matter what part of the part of we love our culture. That’s why we’re here as well, when people come and join us and add to it, we’re not here to have it destroyed by by by this, this flush of folks who have no idea what our culture looks like, speak our language. And I wanted to make a point here. And we’re talking is this mother who actually wanted her children, her boys to come here because it’s safer here, but understand when you come and if you don’t know, our language. And there’s young people put into these environments, they’re gonna drift to people that they know their friends. And that’s now where we get a growth of the cartel.

Tim Hughes
Representative…. It’s the stories of the children, I think that are the most heartbreaking. And we’re getting numbers like 19,000, north of 19,000, that are now unaccompanied minors that are in this country. And it’s been two weeks since President Biden said that vice president Kamala Harris would take the reins of this. And yet we haven’t had a press conference. I’m curious, has the Congress has the, have you as a representative had any communication with the vice president on this?

Rep. Burgess Owens
No, we haven’t. And neither have the people here at the border, need to have these countries or these cities where people are being dropped off and they have to figure out how to take care of them. There’s no collaboration, no communication between the president, vice president and the people being impacted the most. What it tells me is at least that we have administration does not care. This is chaos. We talked about everything else that was going on here. So no, we have not, we’re gonna we’re going to put together something. I think of with the leaders and [unintelligible] real soon, and invite the vice president show up. Because right now she’s showing that she really doesn’t really care what’s happening down here.

Amanda Dickson
What would you do, Congressman, to change what’s happening to have a positive effect?

Rep. Burgess Owens
What I would love is if we just go back. Let’s not, let’s not worry, let’s not worry about who put the policies in place. Let’s go back for months, we had a wall has been completed, we had got people that were feeling safe, it will come in through the port of entry is the way it should be. Let’s do that if we can’t do the entire policy of going back four months, how about just putting judges on the border, so we can we can facilitate this, this flush of people coming through and those are coming through to the correct way coming through for asylum that they could be they could be judged at that particular point. Those who don’t go back, but we have to, we have to go back to policies that took a couple years to put together. But every single day, the Mexicans the country of Guatemala, they all had a way of now dealing with this flush, and right now we’re not so I’m just saying thank you for this time to talk about it. American people need to know what’s going on. We’re not hearing enough about it. And this is human trafficking, sex trafficking. It is the worst that can happen to a young child and wants you to think about children. Listen to a lot of talks about the children being damaged, destroyed, killed, dying along the way. We cannot allow that to happen and sleep at night. I think we’re doing the right thing.

Tim Hughes
Representative Owens. We’ll have to leave it there. Thanks for your time this morning.

Rep. Burgess Owens
Thank you guys appreciate it.

Tim Hughes
Utah Representative Burgess Owens joining us sounded Amanda like he’s still at the border. He says he said down here, and he brought up the border wall. There’s been some chatter over the last day or so that the Biden administration may restart construction of border wall to fill what they’re calling gaps left by the Trump administration. So it may in fact be that border wall construction will continue.

RELATED: Sen. Mike Lee visits US-Mexico border with other GOP senators

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‘It’s chaos down here’: Rep. Owens shares experiences at border