Representative Vicente Gonzalez (D., Texas) on Monday warned that President Biden’s immigration policies will be “catastrophic” for the country and the Democratic Party.
In an appearance on CNN, Gonzalez expressed growing concern over migrants who have crossed the border ahead of even those who have waited in Mexico while their asylum claims have been processed, in line with the Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocol, or “Remain in Mexico” policy.
He noted that while thousands have waited two years south of the border for their chance to enter the country, that migrants who made it across the Rio Grande Valley recently were processed and released.
“If that is the message that we send to Central America and around the world, I can assure you it won’t be long before we have tens of thousands of people showing up to our border and it will be catastrophic for our party, for our country, for my region, for my district,” he said.
“I think we need to have a better plan in place,” he added. “I think asylum seekers should be able to ask for asylum and be processed in their home country or a neighboring country and we shouldn’t have a policy in place that influences people to make this 2,000-mile trek where cartels and human traffickers are enriching themselves.”
He noted that the toll of the pandemic — over 3,000 people in his district have died from the virus — makes the border crossings that much more dangerous.
This echoes what Representative Henry Cuellar (D., Texas) has said about the situation at the border, telling Axios he is concerned that some immigrants are being allowed into the country without receiving a COVID-19 test first.
Cuellar said he hopes the administration continues using the Trump-era Title 42 public health order to quickly expel migrant adults and families during the pandemic.
“You just can’t say, ‘Yeah, yeah, let everybody in’ — because then we’re affected down there at the border,” Cuellar reportedly told the outlet on Saturday.