Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), whose Congressional district lies near the U.S.-Mexico border, warned that more than 10,000 illegal immigrants have been apprehended in a single border sector in Texas in about a week.
“We are weeks, maybe even days, away from a crisis on the southern border. Inaction is simply not an option,” the Texas Democrat said in a news release on Thursday. “Our country is currently unprepared to handle a surge in migrants in the middle of the pandemic.”
In recent days, Cuellar has issued warnings about what appears to be a looming humanitarian crisis at the border, adding that it will spread COVID-19 in southern Texas and other border communities. But now, his office has released figures showing Border Patrol in the Rio Grande Valley arrested about 10,000 illegal immigrants in the past week alone, according to the release, while adding that some 2,500 illegal immigrants have been apprehended in the past two days since the press statement was released.
According to Border Patrol data, agents also apprehended 5,700 unaccompanied child illegal immigrants in January.
Illegal immigrants are “potentially exposing border communities to the coronavirus and putting us at risk,” Cuellar said. “Right now, none of the migrants are being tested for COVID-19 by Border Patrol.”
“As a border representative, I will continue to fight in Washington for my community to ensure they have the necessary funding and resources to properly care for these migrants and to keep American families safe. I urge the Biden administration to listen and work with the communities on the southern border who are dealing with the surge of migrants,” he added.
The Epoch Times has reached out to Cuellar’s office for comment on whether President Joe Biden’s administration has responded to his calls for action.
Cuellar isn’t the only Texas member of Congress who is sounding the alarm. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, another Democrat, did not mince words in how he described the current White House’s immigration policy and said a proposed bill is “catastrophic.”
“I can assure you, it won’t be long before we have tens of thousands of people showing up to our border, and it’ll be catastrophic for our country, for my region, for my district,” he told CNN. “In the middle of a pandemic, in an area where we’ve lost over 3,000 people in my small congressional district … I think we need to have a better plan in place.”
Biden administration officials have said that the border situation is not yet a “crisis” but is rather a “challenge.”
“What we are seeing now at the border is the immediate result of the dismantlement of the system and the time that it takes to rebuild it virtually from scratch,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters, suggesting that the previous administration was at fault.