(USA Features) Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar said that his constituents are growing increasingly “frustrated” following a lack of progress in stemming the unending flow of illegal immigrants through their border cities as Vice President Kamala Harris visited Guatemala on Monday.
Nothing that Harris, who was put in charge of managing the border crisis by President Joe Biden in March, needs to “show some sort of progress,” Cuellar went on to explain what that should look like in an interview with CNN.
“Well, first of all, just the fact that she’s showing up is a win for all of us, to make sure that Central America understands that the United States is paying attention to Central America,” he said, noting that Harris told Guatemalans during her visit not to make the “dangerous trek” north to the U.S.
“Second of all, she needs to show some sort of progress. I mean, there are some very difficult, uncomfortable issues that have to be addressed but, nevertheless, we’re not going to solve everything on this particular trip but we have to show some sort of progress that will be long-term and short-term in nature,” Cuellar added.
Asked how progress would be defined, the Texas Democrat explained.
“So they have to show that they can, one, stop some of the flow from coming in because if we look at the root problems, to address the root problems corruption, crime and all that, that’s going to take years in many ways,” he said.
“But we still have to show — we have to show a way that we can slow down the number of people coming in from Central America,” he noted further.
“If we don’t do this, I can tell you that the areas that I represent, the border communities, they’re frustrated. I’m telling you, they are frustrated. There are pull factors and push factors that we need to address as soon as possible,” Cuellar went on.
This week, a Republican was elected to be mayor in Democrat- and Hispanic-dominated McAllen, Texas, in large part because residents are fed up with endless streams of illegal aliens.
Though Cuellar disagreed with Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott’s declaration of an emergency along the border, he did criticize Biden for ending the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols, otherwise known as “Remain in Mexico.” The policy required anyone seeking asylum in the U.S. to remain south of the border while their cases were heard by U.S. immigration courts.
While noting that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas determined that MPP “does not adequately or sustainably enhance border management to justify the program’s extensive operational burdens. However, I believe that its termination will leave many border communities overburdened,” Cuellar said in a June 1 statement.
“I am committed to providing these communities with the appropriate resources to handle the influx of migrants safely and efficiently,” the statement continued.
“I look forward to working with the Biden Administration and Governor Abbott on ways to secure the border and establish policies that allow for migrants to enter this country safely and legally.”