Lindsey Graham says the next Del Rio is located in Arizona.
Graham posted three videos on Twitter discussing his visit to the United States-Mexico border near Yuma, Arizona, to meet with officials from the United States Customs and Border Patrol.
Yuma is located in western Arizona near the tri-point of Arizona, California and the Mexican state of Sonora.
“Yuma, Arizona is going to be the next Del Rio,” Graham said. “Word is out. They’re sending people away from Del Rio, Texas. They’re coming here.”
Del Rio made headlines in September when 30,000 migrants of Haitian origin arrived there and were put into a camp under a bridge. Many of the migrants had settled in Chile and Brazil but left those countries when their economies dropped during the pandemic.
Graham continued to say that there have been more than 100,000 encounters between people attempting to cross the border and border patrol agents this year, an increase of 1,000 or 10,000% from 2020.
Graham said that the encounters included people from 80 counties, the top three of which are Brazil, Venezuela and Cuba.
Brazil experienced inflation and a jobless recovery in 2020 and 2021 and is expected to continue to do so, according to analysts cited by Reuters. Venezuela’s economy collapsed in 2013 and has remained depressed since. Cuba is undergoing a leadership change from the Castros.
Graham added that the top five included neither Mexico nor the northern triangle counties of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Graham said that the people arriving at the border aren’t running from or hiding from border patrol agents. They’re turning themselves in.
“There’s a belief that if you get here and turn yourself in, you’ll never leave America,” Graham said. “Until we change that narrative, we’re going to be invaded and overrun.”
Graham said he was unable to get over the upscale nature of the people attempting to cross the border.
“I’ve been to Del Rio [Texas], I’ve been to Nogales in Arizona, I’ve been to a lot of places where you could see how poor the folks were,” Graham said. “These people are paying to fly from Brazil into Mexico and they take a bus down here. They’ve got better luggage than I do.”