U.S. Border Migrants Have ‘Upscale Luggage’


Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) claimed Saturday that Brazilian immigrants are coming to the U.S. southern border “smartly dressed” with “upscale luggage.”

Graham railed against the increase in Brazilian immigrants on Friday as well, saying that 40,000 undocumented Brazilian immigrants were “headed for Connecticut, wearing designer clothes and Gucci bags.”

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) mocked the comment, saying, “I’ve been looking around for Brazilians with Gucci bags. I just haven’t seen it, Lindsey.” He also noted that the state’s immigrants are coming in “overwhelmingly legally.”

Still, Graham continued with that rhetoric during a Saturday interview with Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro.

“You know what pisses the border patrol off…is they’re having to process these people,” Graham said. “That means they can’t be out there getting drug dealers and terrorists coming across the border. They’re spending all their time acting as hotel clerks for well-off Brazilians who are scamming and playing a game.”

Graham’s comments follow a Wall Street Journal report which noted that immigrants are flying to Mexico to cross the border, but painted a sharply different picture of why migrants are coming.

“The global recession really made people lose hope,” Andrew Selee, president of the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute, told the Journal. “It’s a big deal to go from being middle class in your country to be undocumented in the United States.”

The Journal went on to state: “South America and the Caribbean last year lost about 26 million jobs—the biggest economic contraction of any region in the world, according to the International Monetary Fund. And Brazil recently surpassed 600,000 Covid-19 deaths, second in the world only to the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University data.”

Graham did not mention the possible economic and health issues the immigrants may have faced in the Saturday interview, and instead complained that “they’ve got better luggage than I do.”

“When we went through the processing station, these were upscale luggage. No dirt on their shoes,” he said. “They fly into Cancun, they rent a car or a bus, dropped off at the border, get their luggage out, find the first border patrol agent they can find — and before they do that — they book a flight to a friend or relative already in the United States. This is offensive, it is a bunch of bullshit and it needs to stop.”

Pirro then noted that when people come across the border she expects them to have been “wading through water, they’ve been walking for hundreds of miles.”

“These sneakers are cleaner than anything I have in my closet,” she said. “They are brand-new.”

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