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Graham claims 'smartly-dressed' migrants crossing into the US

Sen. Lindsey Graham claimed Monday that 'smartly-dressed' Brazilian migrants are crossing into the U.S. after flying to Cancun and getting a ride to the border. 

The South Carolina Republican held a press conference and said he saw a 'tremendous spike in illegal immigrant crossing' during a recent trip to Arizona's Yuma border sector.   

'There is sort of a scam going on with the Brazilians,' Graham said.  

Sen. Lindsey Graham claimed Monday that 'smartly-dressed' Brazilian migrants are crossing into the U.S. over the Mexican border

A pair of migrant families from Brazil wait to be processed by U.S. Border Patrol agents in Yuma, Arizona in June 

Graham said 46,000 Brazilians have come into the United States and made asylum claims this year. 

'And at the Yuma sector, here's what's happening,' he said. 

'Brazilians, seem to be pretty well off to me, smartly-dressed, would take a plane from Brazil to Cancun, Mexico on a tourist visa. Spend a couple days in Cancun, either rent a car or take a bus to the U.S. border, be dropped off right by our border, take the luggage out of the back of the car or off the bus and walk up to the border agent and turn themselves in and ask for asylum,' Graham said. 

'The ones I saw were smartly-dressed, had better luggage than I did, and this needs to stop,' the South Carolina senator added. 

He said that U.S. border patrol agents were being used by these migrants as 'hotel clerks.' 

What Graham said he saw on the ground was similar to what Chris Clem, Border Patrol's chief patrol agent in Yuma, told The Wall Street Journal last week.   

'They got off the plane and went to a cab or to a bus,' Clem said. 'They literally were driven up and just walked up and turned themselves over to us,' Clem said of the more affluent migrants crossing the border.  

Graham, a South Carolina Republican, urged President Joe Biden to complete former President Donald Trump's border wall 

Migrants, mostly Haitians, wait for asylum processing by Mexico's Commission for Refugee Assistance outside a soccer stadium in Tapachula

Migrants seen crossing into the U.S. in the Yuma, Arizona border sector, the section Graham recently visited 

Graham said he would be speaking with the Brazilian ambassador about the problem. 

Graham also said there was a 'much more middle class surge coming in from Brazil and Venezuela.' 

The Republican said he feared the porous border was 'a 9/11 in the making.' 

'Biden needs to held accountable, [DHS Secretary Alejandro] Mayorkas need to either change policy, resign, or be replaced with somebody who knows what the hell they're doing,' Graham also insisted. 

As a top Congressional ally of former President Donald Trump, Graham said the Biden administration should finish Trump's border wall. 

'Cause Trump did it doesn't mean it was wrong,' Graham argued.