Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, on Sunday said that the Biden administration’s plan to address the migrant crisis at the southern border will not fix the problem.
The Texas Democrat made the remarks during an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation” as Title 42, the public health order allowing for expedited removal of migrants due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is set to expire on Dec. 21.
“[The Biden administration] has been talking about this plan for the last two years,” Cuellar said. “They’ve been blaming the Republicans, they’ve been blaming Congress. When will it take effect?”
Cuellar said Biden’s border strategy mostly deals with processing, moving migrants from the border to the interior, and providing food and shelter, having little to do with security.
“With all due respect, I’ve looked at that plan … it hasn’t worked,” Cuellar said.
Border cities like El Paso, Texas, are facing a daily migrant influx that the Biden administration expects to grow if Title 42 is lifted. Tijuana, the largest Mexican border city, has an estimated 5,000 people in more than 30 shelters city director of migrant affairs Enrique Lucero said this week.
The Biden administration is asking Congress for $3.4 billion to prepare for the surge of migrants.
Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, also appeared on the program, saying that the money is “absolutely” needed, but just throwing money at the problem will not solve it.
“You can have an unlimited number of soft-sited facilities, the problem is in enforcing the laws that are already on the books,” Gonzales said.
“I’d also argue the bulk of people coming over are just trying to live a better life, I get that,” he said. “They’re coming here for economic opportunities, but that doesn’t qualify for asylum.”
Gonzales said that in regard to immigration reform, he would love to have a conversation with the Biden administration.
“Work visas make sense to me,” the Republican said. “Pathways to citizenship, amnesty that is dead on arrival. What people have tried before has no chance of working.”
Gonzales said that despite expressing interest in speaking with the congressman, Biden has yet to schedule a meeting.