LAREDO, Texas (KVEO)— On Thursday, the No Border Wall Coalition organized a roundtable to respond to Sen. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz’s visit and talk about “the real facts and data regarding the situation at the border.”

The discussion was held via Zoom and streamed onto the coalition’s Facebook page, in which some of the speakers included local officials and former patrol agents.

“It is a gross mischaracterization of our community that is unsupported by federal government data,” said District IV Councilmember Albert Torres, Jr. “We oppose the use of Laredo and vulnerable children as a political backdrop of the Rio Grande to further sensationalize the plight of law-abiding asylum seekers.”

Among the speakers were Torres, Webb County Commissioner Cindy Liendo, Laredo Dr. Victor Trevino, Former Border Patrol Agent Jenn Budd, Pastor Michael Smith, who runs the migrant shelter at the Holding Institute, Sylvia Bruni, chair of the Webb County Democratic Part and Gilberto Hinojosa chair of the Texas Democratic Party.

Throughout the stream, each speaker talked about “what Laredo really looks like,” and explained that government officials have called Laredo a “battleground” and “unsafe.”

The conference was in response to Sen. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz visit to the Rio Grande Valley on Friday.

Cornyn and Cruz will visit the Rio Grande Valley to discuss how the Biden administration is handling what Governor Greg Abbott calls a “migrant crisis.”

“These refugees from Central America have been unfairly vilified by political actors who do not even live on the border,” Sister Rosemary Welsh of Sisters of Mercy stated in a press release. “It is our nation’s moral obligation to receive our neighbors during their time of need and work internationally to improve the very conditions that cause people to flee their country.”

Click below to see the full discussion: