SALT LAKE CITY — The U.S.-Mexico border is in dire shape, says Rep. Celeste Maloy.

Lack of control, the Utah congresswoman maintains, has seemingly given the criminal organizations that help smuggle people from the Mexican side to the United States the upper hand.

“It’s worse now than it’s been in past years and past decades. Everybody we talked to said that,” Maloy said Wednesday evening at the end of a daylong visit to the Eagle Pass, Texas, area with about 60 other Republican U.S. House members. “We’ve never had complete control over the border. There have always been people who have managed to get across. But it’s never been like it is right now.”

Maloy, newly elected to represent Utah’s 2nd District, took part in the visit, organized by House Speaker Mike Johnson of Louisiana, to get a first-hand look at the border area. It comes about a week after reports emerged of a caravan of thousands of migrants passing through Mexico toward the United States, though Reuters reported Wednesday that the group had dispersed as Mexican authorities directed the immigrants to processing centers.

Utah 2nd Congressional District Republican nominee Celeste Maloy speaks to reporters before an election night party at the Utah Trucking Association, Nov. 21, 2023, in West Valley City, Utah | Photo by Rick Bowmer, The Associated Press

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