Texas Democrat Henry Cuellar (D) on Saturday slammed President Joe Biden for failing to address the border crisis during his address to Congress. According to Cuellar, what’s taking place in border states is a “crisis” and should be acknowledged as such.
“I believe in immigration reform. We haven’t had immigration reform since we had a bipartisan approach in 1986 [with] President Reagan and the Democrat Congress,” Cuellar said on Fox News. “We’ve had proposals but we haven’t carried that through.”
“I did notice that the president did not talk about the border. There is a border crisis, no ifs about it,” he explained. “The numbers are still high.”
The congressman said officials are better at transitioning unaccompanied minors from Border Patrol facilities to five Department of Homeland Security tents nearby.
“They’re doing a little better on the upflow itself but what about the inflow?” Cuellar asked. “That’s people coming in. Those numbers are still coming in.”
The Texas Democrat said the same number of illegal aliens are flocking to the United States, but the Biden administration’s “catch-and-release” policy is causing greater issues. As of now, Cuellar said, roughly 8,500 illegal aliens have been released into the interior of the U.S. “on the honor system.” The problem is those illegal immigrants have not received proper “Notice to Appear” documents, which include dates and times of court proceedings.
“To say that we have everything under control – you know, I’m supportive of President Biden, I’m a supporter of his – but we’re not paying attention to the border communities and this is not under control,” Cuellar said. “I can tell you that.”
Cuellar has been outspoken about the border crisis and, in particular, the Biden administration’s re-instated “catch-and-release policy.”
Last month, the Texas Democrat slammed the Biden administration for doing away with President Donald Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).
“There are ways to address this issue. The reason I think the Biden administration said that they didn’t want to implement, or the reason they got rid of the MPPs, is because they were worried about the safety of those individuals,” the congressman said. “But, you know, you can use the U.N. in so many ways. The U.N. can be used to provide safety for the individuals. We use that all over the country so that the MPP can be repurposed in a safe way if there were concerns.”
“[The Biden administration] could have just repurposed that agreement from the very beginning, cut off the flow of people coming in because I worry about all those folks coming in through the hands of the coyotes, through criminals, which is a very criminal, a very, very dangerous being in the hands of those criminals,” Cuellar said.
According to Fox News, the number of illegal immigrants that Border Patrol apprehended in April dropped slightly compared to March’s numbers. Border Patrol apprehended roughly 162,000 people with roughly 37,000 who were able to avoid capture. The number of unaccompanied minors dropped to around 17,000, compared to 18,000 in March.