A moderate House Democrat who represents a district along Texas’ border with Mexico said Sunday that the Biden administration is failing to stem the influx of illegal crossings because of a lack of deportations and resources.
Rep. Henry Cuellar suggested the administration publicize deportations via photos and videos to dissuade immigrants from making dangerous journeys from Central or South America to the southern border.
“One of the things that this administration is not doing is showing people going and landing in the countries in Honduras and El Salvador to show that there’s repercussions,” Mr. Cuellar said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “When was the last time you saw a picture or video of people going back? You only see people coming in, and you’ve got to have words along with actual enforcement.”
The criticism from Mr. Cuellar, who has been one of the administration’s biggest Democratic critics on immigration, comes in the wake of Vice President Kamala Harris claiming the “border is secure.”
It also comes amid Republican governors sending migrants who entered the country illegally to northern cities run by Democrats.
Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis flew migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, while Texas Gov. Greg Abbott bused migrants to the home of Ms. Harris, moves that both Republicans defended as necessary actions to catch the attention of Democrats in Washington.
Mr. Cuellar derided the moves as “theater” and treating human beings as “political pawns to get publicity.” But he continued to urge the administration to offer more resources and pushed back on Ms. Harris for suggesting the onus is on Congress to crack down.
“We got to give Border Patrol, we got to give [Immigration and Customs Enforcement], Homeland Security, the equipment, making sure they have everything where they can enforce the law, because if we don’t have repercussions at the border, we’re going to continue getting 8,000 people a day,” he said. “With all respect to the VP, there are enough laws on the book right now that can return people back.”