NASHVILLE -- Fresh off his visit last week to the U.S. border with Mexico, Tennessee Republican U.S. Senate hopeful George Flinn says it's "evident our southern border is open" and that the federal government "has failed" in protecting it.
In his campaign news release, Flinn said he visited the town of McAllen, Tex., to gain "first-hand knowledge of the illegal immigration crisis occuring.
"I stood on the Rio Grande and saw many deserted items such as backpacks, life jackets, and clothing," said Flinn, a physician. "There is a lack of manpower. We must demand the borders be sealed now. This is not merely an economic or humanitarian issue. ... We are dealing with a national security crisis."
He said he attended a U.S. House field hearing on Thursday at which Texas Gov. Rick Perry testified that President Barack Obama should call out the National Guard to secure the border and should send thousands of undocumented child immigrants back to their home countries.
"Tennesseans deserve a senator that will gain knowledge on important issues and stand-up and speak out on them," Flinn said. "We have not heard a word from Lamar Alexander on the crisis at the border, despite the fact that it affects each and everyone of us. This is a national security issue and we should be treating it as such."
Flinn is running against Alexander, R-Tenn., in the Aug. 7 GOP primary. State Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas, who made illegal immigration a signature issue in the state House, is also running in the primary.