McALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, of Texas, on Sunday suggested President Joe Biden should visit McAllen if he is serious about addressing border security.
Cruz’s statement came ahead of Biden’s scheduled visit to El Paso on Sunday.
“Finally, after 5.3 million illegal alien crossings with over a million who got away, President Biden is visiting the border,” Cruz said. “If President Biden seriously wants to address the crisis his administration created, he needs to visit McAllen, Eagle Pass, Del Rio, and Laredo, and talk to the communities ravaged by crime, the ranchers who find bodies on their land, the Border Patrol who are overwhelmed, and the families who have lost loved ones due to cross-border drug trafficking.”
On Thursday, the White House provided details of Biden’s plans for the El Paso trip.
“The President will assess border enforcement operations and meet with local elected officials and community leaders who have been important partners in managing the historic number of migrants fleeing political oppression and gang violence in Venezuela, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Cuba,” the White House said in an emailed statement.
Announcing his plans to visit El Paso, Biden expressed displeasure in Republicans for not working with Democrats to pass immigration and border security reforms or fund his plan to address the Southwest border with Mexico.
“[Congressional] Republicans have refused to consider my comprehensive plan,” Biden said Thursday. “And they rejected my recent request for an additional $3.5 billion to secure the border and funds for 2,000 new asylum personnel, another — asylum officers and personnel — and 100 new immigration judges so people don’t have to wait years to get their claims adjudicated, which they have a right to make a claim legally.
“And the failure to pass and fund this comprehensive plan has increased the challenges that we’re seeing at our southwest border.”
Although Cruz criticized Biden for not visiting the Rio Grande Valley, Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez supported both the president’s trip to El Paso and the need for Congress to take action, according to a statement Cortez provided to ValleyCentral on Thursday.
“I applaud President Biden’s decision to visit the U.S.-Mexican border and see firsthand the challenges that border communities currently are facing,” Cortez said. “He is always welcome to the Rio Grande Valley and his decision to visit elsewhere is not disappointing. What is important is his decision to visit the border.
“Our hope is that this visit highlights the challenges border communities are facing and the need for comprehensive immigration reform as well as underscoring the need for Congress to act.”