EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A group of bipartisan lawmakers returned to the United States on Monday after going to Mexico City to meet with Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
The delegation was led by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who said the group met with intelligence, drug enforcement and government officials in Mexico.
U.S. Reps. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, and Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, who both represent El Paso, were a part of the group that went to meet with the Mexican president.
Gonzales told KTSM 9 News that one of the topics they discussed were Americans missing in Mexico.
“There are Americans that are missing in Mexico and I asked for the president’s help in helping identify and helping us relocate those Americans,” Gonzales said.
He added that one of the things Mexico was pushing as a major talking point was the number of migrants has been down.
“You may sell that to other members, but you can’t sell that to me. Look no further than last week at the Paso Del Norte Bridge where it was chaotic,” Gonzales said.
He was referring to the incident where hundreds of migrants gathered at the port of entry and blocked traffic.
Gonzales said one of the things he asked for during the visit with Lopez Obrador was for Mexico to prevent tourist visas from going to people buying one-way tickets.
“Folks from the Middle East, they ain’t coming, or China in that case right now, we have a lot of people of Chinese nationality. They aren’t coming over here for tourists, one-way tickets. It’s a very clear example of why they are coming over here and that’s to get into the United States illegally,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales said the conversation was four hours long.
“I wasn’t necessarily expecting that and I think that’s an important thing to point out is Mexico was absolutely engaged with this delegation,” Gonzales said.
Escobar called the visit with Lopez Obrador productive.
“He had his entire cabinet with us. We covered several topics from migration to the fentanyl crisis to security issues. It was a very wide-ranging dialog,” Escobar said.
Escobar also spoke with KTSM 9 News after landing back in the United States following the visit to Mexico.
She said she talked to the Mexican president about how changing laws is up to the U.S. Congress.
“While there’s a lot of emphasis placed on the executive branch, I acknowledged there in front of my colleagues, a bipartisan, bicameral delegation, that the onus to change the laws is on Congress and it is a priority for me and it’s something I continue to work on,” Escobar said.
Escobar brought up her concerns over how Mexican cartels are getting guns.
“Seventy percent of the guns that are used by the cartels come from the United States,” she said.
Escobar said she spoke with her Republican colleagues about an assault weapons ban.
“An assault weapons ban would go a long way in helping address that. The police in Mexico are frequently outgunned because of the guns that the cartels get from the United States,” Escobar said.
Cornyn sent a statement regarding the visit.
“Our delegation made clear to President López Obrador that his administration must do more to address these issues so that we can maintain our historically strong economic and cultural partnership, and I am hopeful that our candid conversations will lead to collaborative solutions that make both countries safer and more prosperous,” read a portion of the statement from Cornyn.