Texas Democrats bash Biden’s border plan


(The Center Square) – Several Texas Democratic members of Congress are criticizing the latest plan proposed by President Joe Biden to reportedly “secure the border” after an estimated 11 million people have illegally entered the country under his watch. The criticisms from Democrats are largely for different reasons than Republicans.

Republicans have criticized the president, as have border experts who served under previous administrations, including Democratic presidents, arguing it’s a political stunt five months before the election, won’t secure the border, and will bring in another two million people illegally into the country.

Texas Democrats oppose the plan for different reasons, saying those who claim asylum won’t be treated fairly.

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro from San Antonio said Biden’s plan “is the wrong approach and goes too far” and “would fundamentally change our asylum laws without any new protections for Dreamers or other immigrants who have paid taxes, raised families, and contributed to our nation’s prosperity.”

He also criticized Republicans, saying they were using the border and immigration “to fearmonger; they use immigrants as political scarecrows to frighten voters.”

Biden’s executive order sets a model for future administrations, he warned, saying, “it’s likely that every future president, especially Republicans, will use and expand it to choke off immigration and the right to asylum. The political pressure to keep the ban in effect will be too overwhelming.”

Democrat Veronica Escobar of El Paso also blamed Republicans saying they “refused to bring real and sustainable legislative solutions to the floor.”

House Republicans have passed multiple bills to enhance border security in the last several years, which she and other Democrats rejected, including HR 2.

She said she was disappointed by Biden’s order because “the focus is only on enforcement” and hoped he’d instead focus on “immigration relief, like parole in place for the spouses of US citizens and designations of Temporary Protected Status for vulnerable populations, will also happen.”

In response to a New York Times report stating “the guaranteed time” illegal foreign nationals are given to consult with an attorney after claiming asylum was cut from at least 24 hours to 4 hours for the initial screening, U.S. Rep. Sylvia Garcia from Houston said: “These reports are deeply disturbing. Reducing time to find and consult with a lawyer to 4 hours is unconscionable and offends any notion of justice and fair play. It would severely limit due process for asylum seekers and make it even harder for their cases to be fairly adjudicated.”

U.S. Rep. Mark Veasey of Fort Worth said, “For months, Republican extremists have blocked a bipartisan, comprehensive immigration deal from moving forward. The American people deserve better. That is why Democrats in Congress are working with the president to break through the gridlock to deliver solutions.”

He’s referring to a Senate border bill that does the opposite of what it purports and failed to even get a hearing in the Democratic-controlled Senate, The Center Square reported.

Both U.S. Reps. Collin Allred of Dallas and Henry Cuellar of Laredo said they have been advocating for measures “for years” to support border communities.

Cuellar, who has been critical of the president, has previously called for the border to be closed after local communities were overwhelmed. On Tuesday, he called for continued support for federal law enforcement, “providing additional technology, equipment, personnel, and resources to effectively address the uptick in irregular migration. We also need to continue working with Mexico to ensure they help stop illegal migration before it gets to our border. We must also ensure we treat migrants with dignity and respect.”

Allred, who’s running for U.S. Senate, challenging Sen. Ted Cruz in his bid for reelection, appeared to distance himself from the Biden administration, as other Senate Democrats running for reelection appear to be doing. He said, “while I have been critical of this administration’s approach to the border, if it is implemented correctly this executive order could bring long overdue relief to our border communities.” He also took the opportunity to criticize Cruz, saying he “will never be part of the solution.”

Cruz has cosponsored multiple bills to secure the border and led the charge for the Senate to hold a trial after Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was impeached. Earlier this year, Senate Democrats broke over 200 years of precedent and voted to not hold an impeachment trial for the first time in U.S. history.

On Tuesday, Cruz said, “[President] Joe Biden and the Democrats have presided over a criminal invasion of the United States of America. We are facing the worst illegal immigration our nation has ever seen, 11 million illegal immigrants have come in invited by the Democrats. When Joe Biden came into office, he inherited the lowest rate of illegal immigration in 45 years. All he had to do was nothing, just sit there and stare at the wall, but instead he deliberately broke the system.”

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