EXCLUSIVE: ‘Open-Border Rhetoric Transformed into Policy,’ Says Texas Rep.

Border Patrol agents arrest a group of migrants locked inside a tanker trailer. (Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Laredo Sector)
Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Laredo Sector

U.S. Representative Tony Gonzales (R-TX) told Breitbart Texas that open-border rhetoric during the last presidential campaign transformed into the open-border policies of this president’s administration. The Texas congressman said these policies led to the current flood of migrants illegally entering the United States.

Congressman Gonzales just completed a bi-cameral, bi-partisan visit to the border in the Texas Rio Grande Valley. Accompanying him on the tour were Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), and Kirsten Sinema (D-AZ), along with Representative Henry Cuellar (D-TX).

Gonzales says a joint effort is the only solution to a problem that has constituents on both sides of the aisle fed up with the increase in illegal immigration traffic along the 820 miles of border in his district. “When you’re on the ground, it doesn’t matter if you are a Democrat or a Republican — people want a solution,” the congressman says.

One part of the bipartisan Border Solutions Bill he co-sponsored brings an additional 150 immigration judges on board to reduce the time it takes to adjudicate asylum applications. In addition, he says it aids in getting the Border Patrol out of processing centers and back into the field.

As far as his visit to the Rio Grande Valley area, he says much of the progress made in reducing the unaccompanied migrant children population in Border Patrol custody was simply to move them next door to a soft-sided facility run by Health and Human Services. “It’s not as if the numbers are going drastically down, it’s just the children have shifted from one place to the other,” he explained.

Gonzales is also concerned the CDC Title 42 COVID-19 emergency authority utilized by Border Patrol to quickly expel single adult males and females from the country will expire soon. Gonzales added, “As bad as things are now, when Title 42 goes away, the flood gates are going to come gushing wide open.”

The Texas representative is hopeful he can coordinate more bipartisan visits so others can see firsthand what is going on and realize that people are demanding a solution to this crisis. He believes the Biden administration’s only plan for the border was to unravel all of President Trump’s policies without regard to whether they worked or not. “Guess what, some of his policies worked, especially when you are talking about border security.”

Gonzales says he is speaking with the highest levels of management within CBP and the Border Patrol to work toward finding a solution to the issues they are facing. He says he sees firsthand the struggles they and other law enforcement agencies are dealing with daily.

On the topic of the Biden administration’s ICE priorities policy limiting the arrest of fugitives and other migrants they encounter, the congressman is no fan of those calling to de-fund police or abolish ICE.

“This anti-law enforcement approach, whether to inadvertently defund the Border Patrol by taking them out of the field and making them pay for processing facilities or shackling ICE from doing it’s job,” Gonzales stated, “you are basically eroding these organizations.” He added, “These organizations are critical to our safety and security.”

Congressman Gonzales summed up his thoughts by saying the conversation in Congress needs to shift to legal immigration by focusing on those that want to come to the United States the right way.

“We need a venue for people to come into the country that makes sense, right now, our system is broken,” he said. He closed by saying that good border security is not served by watering down the enforcement of laws that currently exist to protect us.

Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol.  Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.

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