'This isn't as simple as a wall': Missouri senator visits U.S.-Mexico border

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A child abandoned on the southern border without his parents and a teacher deported for trying to make more money to support her family.

Those are two of the stories Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill told 41 Action News Monday during her visit to the U.S.-Mexico border.

McCaskill traveled to the border to find out what U.S. Border Patrol agents need to keep our border secure.

"I've learned that this isn't as simple as a wall," said McCaskill, the ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee said in a phone interview. She added a wall doesn't make sense for a great deal of the border.

Sen. Claire McCaskill met with officials at the U.S.-Mexico Border. (Photo via Twitter / @McCaskillOffice)

"I believe we can spend that money more wisely and more effectively in terms of stopping illegals from coming across the border in the first place," McCaskill said.

During her time with Border Patrol agents, McCaskill says she came into contact with a little boy in a detention facility. She says the child came across the border unaccompanied after smugglers just dropped the boy on the bank of the river and left.

"You think about the kind of problems there must be in their home countries if their parents are allowing smugglers to take them on this dangerous journey," she said.

McCaskill went on to say how we deal with these children is tough. "I think it's important that people don't make this simple because it's not simple."

During her visit, Missouri's senior senator says she also saw a teacher from Mexico getting deported. She says the woman came to the U.S. to work as a maid because the woman could make more money in that job, than as a teacher in Mexico.

Sen. Claire McCaskill meets with local religious leaders on her trip to the U.S.-Mexico border. (Photo via Twitter / @SenateHSGACDems)

"I asked 'are you going after the people who hired her?' They said, 'no we don't do that.' Well, that's the magnet that's pulling people into this country sometimes. They are not coming for a vacation, they are coming to feed their families."

To help solve this, McCaskill says the federal government needs to be more aggressive in going after employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants. She also urged her colleagues in Congress to take a similar trip to the border.

"I would recommend this trip for all of my colleagues, especially those who think it's a simple matter of just enforcing the current law. It is more complicated than that."

During the interview, McCaskill emphasized the great work U.S. Border Patrol agents do on a day-to-day basis.

"They are terrific. They are hardworking. They are doing a great job. I don't think most Americans realize that the border patrol has done a great job over the last 10 years lowering the number of illegal immigrants that are coming into this country," she said.

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