Despite mounting evidence of deteriorating conditions at the southern border amid a record-setting influx of migrants, President Joe Biden said last week that his administration has “gotten control” of the situation, but that claim has since attracted significant pushback from a prominent member of his own party.
As Breitbart reports, Texas Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar said bluntly in a podcast released on Thursday that “the border is not under control” and accused the Biden administration of attempting to disguise the truth of the situation by moving unaccompanied youth “from one tent to another tent.”
Cuellar’s comments came during an interview on the Fox News Rundown program, and the congressman brought starting candor to his criticism of the administration’s response to the escalating disaster, explaining:
So basically, when they’re saying that the border’s under control, I mean, I think down in the valley, which I represent part of that, getting 2,000 to 2,500 people a day, 15% of it being unaccompanied kids and then maybe 36, 37% family unites, and then 49% or so single adults with those large numbers, I would say that, with all due respect, the border is not under control.
Blasting the administration’s recent attempts to re-frame the situation in a more favorable light, Cuellar said, “Now, I will say they’re doing a better job moving the unaccompanied kids from one tent to another tent. What do I mean by that? Well, as you know, the focus was on the Border Patrol Donna center, the tent that they had there,” adding:
What the administration has done now is just set up some tents next door and they’re run by [Health and Human Services]. So they just move the kids from one tent to another tent, from the Border Patrol tend to the HHS tent and say, oh, we’re handling better.
Perhaps even more surprising than Cuellar’s damning assessment of the administration’s handling of its detention facilities are his thoughts about what policy decisions led to the crisis in the first place, even suggesting that some of former President Donald Trump’s immigration initiatives should have been retained by Biden.
“To say that the whole system was broken down, I would disagree. I mean, I disagreed with some of the policies that President Trump had like separating the kids from their families,” Cuellar said, but he also added, “The MPP, the Migrant Protection Protocols Program, I think that one, instead of just getting rid of that, I think we should have repurposed that.”
In an apparent critique of the administration’s push to focus on fashiong new diplomatic agreements to address mass migration’s “root causes,” Cuellar continued, “…even the agreements we had with Central America and Mexico that got taken away and now they’re trying to do something else, trying to reach some sort of agreement. We should not have gotten rid of those agreements. We should have repurposed those agreements.”
This is not the first time Rep. Cuellar has put a spotlight on the chaos resulting from Biden’s open-borders stance, as back in March, he released shocking photos of the conditions inside a Texas detention facility that drew widespread attention to the unfolding humanitarian tragedy.
President Biden seems to believe he can continue to deflect and dodge the need for real solutions to the nation’s immigration crisis, but it is heartening to know that there as at least one high-profile Democrat who is willing to hold his feet to the fire.