Democratic Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar pushed back on claims Monday that the surge of migrants attempting to cross the U.S. southern border was part of a seasonal pattern that occurs year after year.
Cuellar agreed with host Joe Scarborough that “this is not seasonal,” after the MSNBC host blasted The Washington Post for printing the claim during an appearance on “Morning Joe.” (RELATED: Nikki Haley Rips Kamala Harris’ Handling Of Border Crisis: ‘God Help Us If She Ever Becomes President’)
Scarborough began by asking Cuellar what President Joe Biden’s administration and Congress need to do to alleviate the border crisis. He stated that the crisis was “not seasonal,” as he mentioned the story The Washington Post ran in March saying that the surge the country is seeing is part of a yearly seasonal pattern. “That’s just not true. I hope they corrected that lie,” he added before giving Cuellar an opportunity to respond.
“You’re right, it’s not seasonal. Now, we do have the months of March, April, May, June that are peak months, but this is not seasonal,” Cuellar responded. “One of the things that we have to keep in mind is that we do have to look at the push factors and the pull factors. Democrats, if you notice, usually talk about the push factors. Republicans usually talk about the pull factors. But you’ve got to look at both the push factors, the pull factors, and the long-term and the short-term goals that you want to do.
He went on to say that he was part of the House Appropriations Committee when “the first big wave” of migrants came in 2014. He said that he worked with Republicans and added $750 million in funding for countries in Central America to help alleviate the problem. He then explained that working in the long-term means investment and he’d look at doing more of that with anyone who “understands the appropriations.”
Cuellar stated that the committee would appropriate more money for those countries at the end of the year, but that it would be the next year before those funds would be available to help those countries. He then said that the U.S. has “got to get those countries to do a lot more.”
“In fact, I’ve talked to all the ambassadors already, and we’ve got personal meetings this week from the ambassadors in Central America to address and talk about some of the short-term issues,” he concluded.
In addition to The Washington Post, Biden also claimed the surge in the number of migrants at the border was seasonal. The numbers, however, don’t support those claims, considering the number of migrants encountered at the border in March was the highest in nearly two decades. Immigration experts say we can expect the crisis at the border to worsen, despite policies put in place by Mexico on Mar. 19 limiting migration at its borders.