Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar sent President Joe Biden a message on Sunday and directly contradicted Vice President Kamala Harris’ claim that the southern U.S. border is “secure.”
What did Cuellar say?
Speaking on CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” Cuellar said the Biden administration needs to better resource immigration authorities, who in turn need to enforce the law.
“We got to give Border Patrol, we got to give ICE, Homeland Security the equipment, making sure they have everything where they can enforce the law, because, if we don’t have repercussions at the border, we’re going to continue getting 8,000 people a day,” Cuellar said.
Cuellar, who represents a congressional district that borders Mexico, knows all too well about the impact of the border crisis. While sanctuary cities complain about migrants flooding their cities, Cuellar explained that his hometown of Laredo is dispatching two dozen buses of migrants every day.
Resources are critical for solving the problem, but so is enforcing the law, Cuellar emphasized.
“We’ve got to do— as your next guest is going to say, [former DHS] Secretary Jeh Johnson, he treated the people with respect — but at the end of the day, he enforced the law, and he returned people,” the congressman said, observing that the Biden administration is not returning migrants.
“When was the last time you saw a picture or video of people going back? You only see people coming in,” Cueller said. “And you’ve got to have words, along with action to enforce it.”
Cuellar says Biden needs to ramp up border enforcement amid migrant dispute
Still, Cuellar made it a point to say that “migrants are human beings, and we’ve got to treat them like human beings. Unfortuantely, some are unfortunately being used as “political pawns to get publicity,” he added.
What about Harris’ claim?
Harris left NBC News anchor Chuck Todd was baffled in an interview that aired last week because she claimed the border is “secure.”
“We have a secure border in that that is a priority for any nation, including ours and our administration,” Harris said.
But according to Cuellar, that could not be further from the truth.
“The border is not secure with all due respect to the VP,” he said on CNN. “Look, we get 1,000s of people along the border, you know, from 6,000-8,000 people a day.
“We have 1.7 million people that were encountered last year. We’re going to have two or maybe 2.2 [million] by the end of this fiscal year. … that’s almost 4 million people,” he continued. “That doesn’t even include the getaways. The getaways are the people that Border Patrol has a good idea that evaded them. So you’re talking about almost 4+ million, maybe 4.4 million, individuals in two years.
“If you call that secure, I don’t know what secured it is,” Cuellar quipped.