Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, dismissed Vice President Kamala Harris’ assessment that America’s southern border is secure during a weekend appearance on CNN.
CNN host Michael Smerconish spoke with Cuellar about the state of the southern border and played a clip of Harris claiming it was under control.
“The border is secure, but we also have a broken immigration system and in particular over the last four years before we came in and it needs to be fixed,” Harris claimed in the clip. “We have a secure border in that that is a priority for any nation, including ours and our administration.”
Smerconish appeared to balk at the claim, asking his guest, who is from the area in question, whether the border is actually secure.
“Congressman, that’s just not true, right?” Smerconish asked. “You’re on the front line. You’ve spent your whole life in Laredo. The border is not secure, is it?”
Cuellar affirmed Smerconish was correct.
“The border is not secure, with all due respect to the VP. This — look, we get thousands of people along the border, from 6,000 to 8,000 people a day. They’re releasing people, and we can send you pictures and videos of what’s happened in Del Rio, the valley, El Paso and other places. People are coming in,” he said.
Cuellar followed up by offering devastating numbers.
“We have 1.7 million people that were encountered last year. We’re going to have 2 or maybe 2.2 [million] by the end of this fiscal year in about two more weeks. That’s almost 4 million people,” he warned. “That doesn’t even include the getaways. Getaways are the people that border patrol has a good idea that evaded them. So you’re talking about almost 4 plus, maybe 4.4 million individuals in two years.”
The congressman then called out Harris assessment, “If you call that ‘secure,’ I don’t know what ‘secure’ is.”