Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) blasted Joe Biden over the weekend for mishandling the increasing turmoil at the southern border, emphasizing the urgency of implementing “repercussions” to deter illegal entries into the United States. Cuellar, whose district is located along the U.S.-Mexico border, expressed these concerns in a candid interview on the latest broadcast of “Fox News Sunday.”
Cuellar’s remarks resonate amid a substantial influx of illegal immigration observed over the past few months, provoking debates and discussions nationwide. “We need to have repercussions at the border. You’ve got to deport people, and you’ve got to show images of people being deported,” he asserted. The Congressman believes in striking a balance, claiming that former President Donald Trump might have gone too far in trying to prevent illegal immigration, while President Biden is, according to him, “not doing enough.”
It's been 20 months since the FBI raided Henry Cuellar's home and no word on why… Cuellar was the most outspoken Democrat on the border crisis and a real thorn in Biden's side https://t.co/5fHLuWs1tM
— Anna Giaritelli (@Anna_Giaritelli) September 22, 2023
Cuellar is advocating for a pragmatic approach to deter migrants from reaching the U.S. southern border, with a critical role envisioned for Mexico in mitigating this escalating issue. “We as Democrats and Republicans can continue playing defense on the 1-yard line, or we can play defense on their 20-yard line — and that is getting Mexico to do more,” he stressed.
In addition to Cuellar’s criticisms, the Democratic mayor of Eagle Pass, Texas, Rolando Salinas, accused Biden of deserting border communities and declared a state of emergency in his city, attributing the responsibility for the crisis to the lack of coherent communication from the White House.
The unresolved and intensifying situation at the border has affected local communities and economies. Eagle Pass had to shut down the local international bridge between Mexico and Texas due to the overwhelming number of migrants, impacting the local economy significantly.
Salinas emphasized the importance of enforcing existing laws. “We are a nation of laws,” he remarked, calling for legal immigration and criticizing the lack of consequences for those entering unlawfully.
Cuellar’s and Salinas’s critiques echo a broader concern over the administration’s approach to border management. Recent policies implemented by the Biden White House, including the deployment of 800 troops and approval of numerous work visas, seem to have offered only partial relief and haven’t addressed the overarching issue.
Despite strategies that claimed to have reduced illegal encounters significantly, the U.S. has witnessed a spike in migrant encounters, particularly from Venezuela, raising questions over the efficacy of the current administration’s border management strategies.
The Biden administration has defended its actions, citing the “broken” system it inherited and pointing to a record number of removals under its watch. It emphasizes the necessity for Congress to allocate more funds and pass the immigration reform bill proposed in 2021. This bill remains contentious because it provides a citizenship pathway for millions of undocumented immigrants.
Cuellar’s comments and the experiences of border communities like Eagle Pass underscore the urgent need for bipartisan solutions to the ongoing border crisis. To manage the situation efficiently, it has become imperative to have pragmatic, effective policies and international cooperation, especially with neighboring Mexico. “You’ve got to have policies that have repercussions,” emphasized Cuellar, a sentiment mirrored by many seeking substantial solutions over partisan debates.