Democratic Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar said Saturday that the Biden administration has not been sharing the real number of unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Cuellar spoke with Fox News’ Alicia Acuna about the situation at the border, saying the problem may have started under former President Donald Trump, but President Joe Biden needed to own it and work to make changes wherever they were necessary. (RELATED: Latino Democratic Congressman Wants To Help Border Agents Get Vaccinated)
Acuna began by noting the argument over whether the situation at the border should be referred to as a “challenge” or a “crisis,” adding, “My question to you, and I asked this of a Republican congressman in the last hour, does it matter what we call it, and where does the line — where is the line between challenge and crisis?”
“Yeah, look, we can play with words, is it a challenge or is it a crisis,” Cuellar replied. “Let’s look at the numbers. Since August of last year the numbers have been increasing. And especially October, November and December we were hitting 70,000. In January we had 78,000. And this is, again, under the Trump administration, now moving into the Biden administration.”
Cuellar went on to say it did not matter as much who was president when the problem began, adding, “It might have started under Trump, but when you’re the president, you own the situation, whether it’s a success or not a success.”
Predicting an influx of about 100,000 in February, Cuellar continued, “Again, I don’t care what we call it, but I can tell you this — those numbers of people being released, they’re purposefully withholding that information. They’ve been told not to withhold that information. I now know that they’re bringing people from McAllen over to Laredo, processing them in Laredo, and they’re going to release them in my community.”
Cuellar, who had said several days earlier that the United States was just “weeks, maybe even days” from a real crisis at the border, added his concern that the country was “unprepared to handle a surge in migrants” due to the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Our country is currently unprepared to handle a surge in migrants in the middle of this pandemic. I urge the Biden administration to listen and work with the communities on the southern border who are dealing with this influx.
Inaction is not an option. https://t.co/bm7IMSzFGS
— Rep. Henry Cuellar (@RepCuellar) March 4, 2021
Cuellar also made a similar point in 2018, saying the child migrant crisis had been downplayed by former President Barack Obama’s administration.