Sen. Lindsey Graham claims that Brazilian immigrants wearing designer clothes are trying to enter the US.
Graham made the claim to Fox News host Sean Hannity and The Washington Post.
However, pictures his spokesperson sent to The Post did not appear to show people carrying Gucci bags.
Sen. Lindsey Graham is claiming that immigrants from Brazil are entering the US via the Mexican border "wearing designer clothes and Gucci bags."
Graham made this statement to Fox News host Sean Hannity on Tuesday while criticizing the Biden administration's border policy.
"We had 40,000 Brazilians come through the Yuma Sector alone headed for Connecticut wearing designer clothes and Gucci bags," the South Carolina senator claimed on Fox News. "This is not economic migration anymore. People see an open America. They're taking advantage of us. And it won't be long before a terrorist gets in this crowd."
Video: A day at the US-Mexico border
Graham reiterated those claims in an interview with The Washington Post on Tuesday, elaborating on his statements to Hannity, while recounting to The Post what he says he observed during his recent trip to Yuma, Arizona.
"Usually, when you go to the border, you see people who are dressed really haggardly and who look like they've been through hell," he told The Post. "This time at Yuma, there were dozens that looked like they were checking into a hotel, and smartly dressed."
"This is something new. I would advise the Biden administration to do what the Obama administration did and fly them back," Graham said, adding that he thought Connecticut and two other states he could not immediately recall were "destinations."
Kevin Bishop, a spokesman for Graham's office, also provided The Post with additional comments and photographs that he says were taken during the Yuma trip.
"They have had thousands of Brazilians coming through there," Bishop told The Post. "As Senator Graham noted in Yuma, the luggage was nicer than his own."
However, The Post wrote that none of the suitcases in the photos sent to them appeared to be Gucci products. Graham's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.
It is unclear where Graham got the number of 40,000 immigrants from, or where he got the indication that these migrants were on their way to Connecticut. However, it is true that a record number of Brazilians were arrested at the US southern border this year. According to Customs and Border Protection Data, more than 46,200 Brazilians were detained at the southern border during the 2021 fiscal year to date.
The Wall Street Journal also reported this week that there are middle-class migrants who are flying to Mexico, then attempting to cross the US border illegally. The news outlet wrote that this wave of Brazilian migrants might be slightly more well-off than other refugees, but are likely being pushed to flee to the US because of the serious economic troubles they face in their home country.
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