Biden's Border Crisis: Lawmakers tour facilities, urge DHS to vaccinate border law enforcement

Senator John Cornyn and Rep. Henry Cuellar will tour the Texas border today. A rapidly growing crisis continues to develop as thousands of migrants flood the border in hopes of a life in the United States. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has dubbed Biden as “the migrant president”.

Open Borders Joe is in denial about the crisis. The best answer he can muster when asked about the chaos at the southern border, which rarely happens, is that his administration can handle it, “God willing”, which isn’t very reassuring at all. Mexico’s president says that Biden’s language around the issue of illegal immigration has inspired those considering migrating north to do so. Biden is “stoking illegal immigration and creating business for organized crime” according to a report made available to Reuters. This is both a humanitarian crisis and a national security issue.

“They see him as the migrant president, and so many feel they’re going to reach the United States,” Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said of Biden the morning after a virtual meeting with his U.S. counterpart on March 1.

“We need to work together to regulate the flow, because this business can’t be tackled from one day to the next.”

Cornyn, a Republican, and Cuellar, a Democrat, want to see the current situation at the border firsthand. They have worked together in the past to help solve a humanitarian crisis at the border. Cuellar served in a whistleblower position on illegal immigration during the Obama-Biden administration and is doing the same now. A press release addressed their agenda.

Sen. Cornyn and Rep. Cuellar will first tour a detention facility for migrant children in Carrizo Springs and then receive a briefing from U.S. Border Patrol Sector Chief for the Del Rio Sector, Austin Skero, and representatives from the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and Removal Operations (ICE-ERO), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and BCFS about the crisis, their current challenges, and their federal needs. This portion of the visit will be closed to the press.

Sen. Cornyn and Rep. Cuellar will then hold a bipartisan roundtable discussion in Laredo with local leaders and officials about the impact of the recent increase in migration. They will hear about how communities along the southern border continue to face unprecedented times and how the lack of plan to stem the flow of migration will only create further challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sen. Cornyn and Rep. Cuellar will then hold a joint press conference.

Before heading to the Texas border, Cornyn and Cuellar, along with Senator Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona, and freshman Congressman Tony Gonzales, a Republican, sent a letter to Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas urging him to provide immediate access to vaccinations for DHS law enforcement officers. They are first responders and should be protected against the coronavirus, just as other first responders are given top priority for vaccinations.

“As you know, DHS’s law enforcement officers are at significant risk of contracting COVID-19 due to their work with detained and vulnerable populations. The recent growing surge in migrants crossing the southwest border has only amplified that risk. Since the beginning of pandemic, more than 8,000 CBP employees have tested positive for COVID, and 27 have died. A total of 9,686 ICE detainees have tested positive for COVID in the past year.”

“Given the significant risk to these critical frontline workers, particularly at this time with increased activity along the border, it is imperative that DHS quickly take action to vaccinate all DHS law enforcement officers and agents.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is leading a Republican delegation to the U.S.-Mexico border on Monday. According to Axios, about a dozen lawmakers will accompany McCarthy. McCarthy sent a letter to Biden last Friday, a week ago, requesting a meeting to discuss the border crisis. So far, McCarthy has not received a response from Biden.

“I feel compelled to express great concern with the manner in which your administration is approaching this crisis, but with hope that we can work together to solve it,” McCarthy had written in the letter.

Among those who will join him on the trip are Reps. John Katko of New York and Tony Gonzales of Texas.

This issue is a no-brainer for Republicans. They should be making it their own and ratchet up pressure on the Biden administration to work with them to solve the crisis. This is an issue that garners bipartisan support with moderate Democrats and a majority of Republicans who are looking for immigration reform. Illegal immigration regularly scores high on the list of concerns for Republican voters, especially in primaries. Joe Biden and his team speak about attending to circumstances that cause surges in migration, which is fine but it is a pie-in-the-sky kind of talk right now as the crisis is already here. Dealing with long-term solutions is necessary and working with Mexico and Central American countries is a part of that. President Trump was doing that and negotiated historic agreements with those countries. Biden came into office and immediately canceled all that. This border crisis is of Biden’s own doing – even the Mexican president acknowledges that.

Joe Biden likes to say he will work with anyone to benefit the United States. He’s all about bringing the country together and working for unity. Unfortunately for his supporters who believed all of his malarkey on the campaign trail, Biden continues to prove he is not interested in working with anyone but the Democrat Caucus. When Republicans reach out, as McCarthy did in his request for a meeting to address the situation on the border, Biden failed to respond. He is in denial that his own policies are producing failing results before the ink is dry on his executive actions.