Texas Border Democrat: 'We Need to Listen to The Border Communities'

Susan Jones | April 25, 2022 | 6:42am EDT
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Would-be asylum seekers protest against Title 42 on the Mexican side of the San Ysidro Crossing port in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico, on March 21, 2022. (Photo by GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Would-be asylum seekers protest against Title 42 on the Mexican side of the San Ysidro Crossing port in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico, on March 21, 2022. (Photo by GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Texas Democrat, keeps urging the Biden administration to stop the record pace of illegal immigration, to no avail.

He anticipates that the illegal flow will only get worse on May 23, when the Biden administration lifts Title 42, the COVID public health measure that allows authorities to bar entry to some illegal aliens.

"You know, we told them, but they said they're going to continue with Title -- you know, lifting the Title 42,” Cuellar told “Fox News Sunday.”

"But the thing is, yes, they're listening to the immigration activists, but my question is, who's listening to the men and women in green and in blue? And more importantly, who's listening to the border communities, the sheriffs, the landowners, the -- you know, the rest of the people who live on the border.

"Yesterday, I was in Starr County. You mentioned Roma -- I was in Roma where they found that 2-year-old young kid. And I was in Roma. And I was with a lot of people there, not only public officials, but other folks. And none of them said, yes, go ahead and lift Title 42. None of them said open up the border.

"They're very concerned because they're on the frontline, and they're the ones that I think we need to listen to. We need to listen to the border communities."

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it encountered 221,303 people illegally crossing the southwest border in March alone -- a monthly record, which works out to 7,138 people a day.

The chart below shows how the pace of illegal immigration has accelerated under President Joe Biden's lenient border policies.

(Chart from CBP website)
(Chart from CBP website)

There are so many foreigners pouring into this country that "about 60 percent of the men and women in green are not on the field, they're not at the border, but they're actually at the border processing centers," Cuellar told "Fox News Sunday."

"So, think about this," Cuellar said. "It's like having a school and we're only teaching with 40 percent of the teachers and the other 60 percent are not teaching. That's what we're seeing, except it's a law enforcement.

"So what we're seeing is large numbers coming in. The messages are going out to the smugglers and to the migrants that says on May 23rd, you can go ahead and come in, and Border Patrol is only working with 40 percent of its men and women. And that provides us a very difficult situation down here at the border."

Cuellar said the lifting of Title 42 is a bonus to the transnational criminal organizations, which charge about $8,000 per person for their human smuggling services.

"And remember, the last six months, there were over a million encounters and doesn't even include the getaways. You multiply that by an average of $8,000, that's over 8 million -- $8 billion that they made, and that doesn't even include drugs.

“So it's a message that's going out there. And what makes it difficult is you got people from Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and the problem is those countries are not being very cooperative when we try to return those folks.

"We got to extend the perimeter -- the U.S.-Mexico border should not be the one-yard line. We need to make sure that if somebody passes through our country where they can ask for humanitarian relief or they can ask for asylum, then they need stay in those countries, instead of passing countries all the way up here to the border and past countries that can provide them asylum and relief, but they only think the only place they can get asylum is in the United States."

Cuellar said communities throughout the United States are "starting to feel the impact that we see here at the border," as the illegal aliens are transported to places in the interior, including Washington, D.C.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus reportedly plans to meet today with White House officials to urge the lifting of Title 42.

Cuellar noted that he and Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas) are the only two members of that caucus who want Title 42 to stay in place.

"And the rest of them are going to say go ahead and lift it.

"But again, my question is this: how can you ask for international travelers to make sure they have -- they're vaccinated or even show their COVID-19 negative tests if they fly in? How can we have the emergency -- federal public emergency extended to July 15th and say there's a pandemic going on in the United States, but at the border, everything's fine and just let people in into the United States?

"That just -- those are mixed messages."

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