Before Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) was deployed to the southern border earlier this month, he was "undecided" on whether or not he would support President Donald Trump's current border policy. Trump has declared the border crisis a national emergency in order to allocate funds build a wall on the border.
However, Kinzinger's two-week deployment changed everything for him.
Kinzinger, who is a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard serving as a reconnaissance pilot, temporarily went on active-duty status in early February when his National Guard unit was deployed to the border. For two weeks, Kinzinger conducted surveillance missions over the Arizona border.
"I went down there kind of undecided," he told CBS News "Face the Nation," referring to his position on Trump's national emergency declaration.
But Kinzinger explained that what he witnessed on mission changed everything for him.
"I think if this was just an issue of immigration it wouldn't constitute a national emergency, but what I saw was really disturbing," he said.
"I wish this would have happened a different way. I voted for comprehensive immigration reform. I think Republicans, the Democrats both have good ideas on immigration," Kinzinger added, explaining he believes declaring the border crisis a national emergency is within the bounds of Trump's constitutional rights as president.
As far as what he witnessed as "disturbing," Kinzinger said he was part of an interdiction team that seized 70 pounds of methamphetamine. He also helped save a woman who was stranded in the desert after her human traffickers — known as "coyotes" — abandoned her.
The Republican lawmaker also said that, despite border apprehensions being at a 50-year low, Border Patrol resources are stretched incredibly thin, which he said explains why so few illegal border crossers are being apprehended.
(H/T: Air Force Times)