(USA Features) A leading House Democrat from a border state has challenged the Biden administration to show him visual proof that migrants who crossed illegally into the United States are being deported, as the White House claims they are.
“I have told the White House that they had to — they are deporting people under Title 42 (COVID restrictions), and I support Title 42, especially right now — that they need to publicize and show images of people being deported,” Rep. Henry Cuellar, who represents some of the Texas border communities, told Fox Business Network’s Charles Payne Wednesday.
The visual evidence would also serve to discourage people from attempting to cross into the U.S. illegally, Cuellar contended.
“Because I ask you, Charles, have you seen one single picture of somebody being deported? No, I haven’t seen one,” the Texas Democrat continued.
“I see people coming in, but we’re not showing people being deported. And you have to do that,” he added.
“If you don’t have any consequences, then there’s a green light. And I emphasize there’s a green light for people who come in.”
Cuellar went on to note that normally, “March, April, May and June are the peak months almost every year. We’re now in July. And just this morning, they stopped a group of 509 people, one single group, I emphasize, 509 people coming in, in one — just one group. So these numbers are not stopping,” he said.
“And with all due respect to the administration, they need to put a pause on this now, for the sake of our border communities” which are being overrun, Cuellar added.
The Democrat said that in a section of Tex-Mex border that includes his district, Border Patrol agents and immigration authorities encountered 20,000 illegal aliens in one week.
“And I talked to the officials this afternoon. And we’re going to talk again on Friday, but what’s happening is, when Border Patrol drops folks off at a charity, the charity gets overloaded. And then they drop them off at a hotel without even telling the local officials. And that’s not right,” said Cuellar.
“The charity needs to tell the local officials, especially if they are COVID-positive. It’s not fair to — by local communities. There are people being released there that might have COVID-19. And we need to just make sure that we communicate with each other,” he said.
“And what I’m asking on the Biden administration is to do a pause, do a pause. They need to, they need to prioritize border communities. They need to prioritize the men and women of DHS. They need to prioritize our border communities at DHS,” Cuellar noted further.
The Texas lawmaker also said that at least 80 Border Patrol are currently infected with the virus and another 100 or so are self-isolating after being exposed to migrants who have tested positive.
“So those cases are going up. And, remember, those men and women have families. And if they get sick and go home to the families, it’s not fair to their families, and it certainly is not fair to the border communities to leave people that are sick and not even tell the local communities like La Joya,” a city in his district, Cuellar added.
The lawmaker went on to say he’s been pressing the Biden administration for months to do something about the border crisis but hasn’t gotten anywhere.
“It’s interesting,” Cuellar responded. “And I will say this very carefully and very diplomatic. The career people at DHS get it. They get it. In fact, when I speak, they have told me privately, thank you for having our backs. The career people at DHS, they get it,” Cuellar said.
“Again, the political appointees are a different thing, but they need to understand they need to have the back of the men and women from DHS,” he continued.
“They certainly need to take care of our border communities. Prioritize them, please,” he urged.