(CNSNews.com) – Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) along with Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas) and Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) wrote a letter to the White House on Tuesday, calling the situation at the border “a crisis” and asking the Biden administration to extend Title 42 beyond the Dec. 21 deadline.
“We have a crisis at our southern border. Never before in our nation’s history have we experienced this scope and scale of illegal border crossings, and we remain concerned that your administration has not provided sufficient support or resources to the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) who are tasked with maintaining border security,” the lawmakers wrote.
“We are committed to enacting bipartisan legislation that will allow DHS to effectively implement policies and programs that have been revealed as critical to maintaining operational control over the southern border, and do not involve paroling large numbers of migrants into the United States to undergo months- or years-long processes. These negotiations will take time. In the interim, we urge you to do everything within your power to extend the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC’s) Title 42 order beyond the looming December 21st deadline until Congress can act,” they added.
Cuellar told Fox News’ “America Reports” on Wednesday that as long as migrants feel that the southern border is open, they’ll keep coming.
“You know, you got to listen to what’s happening to the communities at the border. The border communities are asking for help. The men and women in green and in blue are asking for help. So, we have to change something. Just acting like everything is ok or the border is secure, which it’s not secured, we got to do something,” he said.
“We got to work with Mexico. We got to be a little tougher with Mexico, work with other countries like Guatemala, so we can stop them from coming in, but as long as they feel that the border is open, this is not going to stop,” Cuellar said.
When asked why he thinks the White House is not listening, the congressman said, “There are three groups of people you need to listen to: Immigration activists, that’s one, I understand that, but you also have to listen to the men and women in green and blue but also got to listen especially to the communities on the border.
“I live at the border. I don’t just go and visit there, I listen. There is not one single mayor, county judge that I know of, sheriff or police chief or other land owners are saying everything is fine. They are — we are the ones who are facing this on ground zero and we just got to make sure that we do something else besides acting like the border is closed. It’s not closed. It’s not closed,” he said.
When asked at what point do people start losing their jobs over the crisis at the border, Cuellar said, “Well look, we have a lot of career people that know what needs to be done. They do, but they have to be given the opportunity to do their work. This is not a political decision. This is something that has to be decided on the facts, and the facts are there’s a lot of people coming in.
“There’s a lot of people waiting on the other side of the Rio grande that are waiting for Title 42 to go away, and you are going to see not thousands, you know, a small amount of thousands, but you are going to see thousands and thousands of people that will be coming over because they are waiting,” he said.
“The criminal organizations are promoting this because the more people that come across, the more money they make. So they make money off drugs and they make money on smuggling and trafficking people into the United States, and think about what’s happening,” the congressman said.
“A migrant, all they have to do is just get to the Texas, or the U.S. border. Then after that, taxpayers dollars are used to get them to their point of — where they want to end up. So it’s a great deal. All they have to do is just pay for half of the trip and the other half of the trip will be paid by American taxpayers,” Cuellar added.
The congressman said he hasn’t heard anything back from the White House regarding the letter he and his colleagues sent.
“I don’t think Senator Joe Manchin has. I don’t think Senator Cornyn, I don’t think my good friend Tony Gonzalez has. We have not heard from them, and again, time is of the essence right now,” Cuellar said.
“There is a way that you can provide respect and dignity to the people who are coming to the border, but at one time or another you just have to enforce the law, and if enforcing the law means deporting some people that are not supposed to be here, or changing the rules where asylum seekers can seek asylum abroad somewhere and do it in an orderly way coming through our ports of entry instead of in between ports, there are things that we can do,” he said.
“Sending more money for technology, for equipment, for personnel, all of that is important, I understand that, but you got to have the right policies in place,” the congressman added.
When asked why the White House is doing nothing, Cuellar said, “Well, again, I’ll give you the same answer. I don’t know. That’s something they need to answer. All I’m looking at are the repercussions from inaction from the administration. I’m a Democrat.
“I want to be constructive to the administration. I don’t just go and visit the border once in a while, I live there. I talk to the men and women there, and we — and the communities there. We have to have some changes without a doubt,” the congressman said.
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