Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., traveled to Texas this weekend for a first-hand look at the security at the U.S. border with Mexico.

The trip comes as Congress wrestles with how to fund the Department of Homeland Security with a deadline of Feb. 27. Conservatives hope to use the funding measure as leverage to attack President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Signal, Sasse explained why he made the trip to the border:

“Washington talks about the border as if it isn’t a real and dangerous place with men, women, and increasingly even children. Getting serious about securing our southern border starts by honestly assessing the challenges we face and setting high goals with data-driven metrics to hold Washington accountable. I’m eager to take the lessons we’ve learned here to Congress so we can begin tackling these problems with real solutions.”

Sasse rode in a Customs and Border Protection helicopter with Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del.

He used his Twitter account to post photos and thoughts throughout the tour.

UPDATE: Sasse joined Fox News on Monday morning to talk about his trip.