Republican Rep. Says Congress Leadership 'Needs to Change' as GOP Could Secure Southern Border
00:24 GMT 29.11.2021 (Updated: 13:59 GMT 19.12.2022)
© AP Photo / Andrew HarnikRep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, center, accompanied by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., left, and House Republican Conference chair Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., right, speaks at a news conference on the steps of the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, July 29, 2021, to complain about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the leadership of President Joe Biden, and guidelines on face masks by the Centers for Disease Control.
© AP Photo / Andrew Harnik
The reversal of most of the restrictive policies of the previous Republican US administration and the Democrats' approach to ensuring open borders are cited by critics as some of the main reasons for the current unprecedented crisis at the country's southern border.
Rep. Tony Gonzales of Texas has lambasted Democrats for fostering the border crisis, saying that the Biden administration is unwilling to address it.
In an interview with "Fox News Live" on Sunday, the congressman discussed the issue amid reports of another major migrant caravan approaching the US border from Mexico and alarm over the omicron COVID-19 strain.
Gonzales said that the Biden administration "isn't even trying to solve this border crisis, that has turned deadly," referencing the reported deaths of illegal migrants on US soil.
"Sadly, border patrol agents are under attack for being forced to have this vaccine mandate, yet here we have this new variant. There's no testing that's occurring. All of this lies at the feet of the Biden administration," he said.
According to the congressman, the authorities must "secure our southern border and they need to secure it from all illegal immigrants coming through," because of the risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Sadly, this administration doesn't want to do anything because if they did, they would. Instead, they're attacking our men and women in green that are trying to protect ourselves and protect our country from this, and I go back to it, where are the House Democrats?" he said. "You know, I've got a bill that would do a couple of different things. One, it would label cartels as terrorist organizations. Another thing it would do is it would ensure that our Border Patrol gets the pay that they deserve. These are the type of things that people are looking for."
Gonzales stressed that "leadership in Congress needs to change, and when the Republicans have the House, we're going to make sure to secure the southern border."
His statement comes amid recent polls and expert assessments predicting a GOP victory in the midterm elections next year, especially in light of frequent criticism of the White House and Congressional Democrats for their handling of the border crisis.
According to former ICE Acting Director, Thomas Homan, who spoke on Fox News the day prior, border security now is a "national security issue," because when border patrol is "not on the line because you are processing family units, that's when bad guys come across."
In April this year, Gonzales stated that Mexican drug cartels are acting as "travel agents" by arranging the flow of migrants across the border and into the United States, warning that if the US government cancels the Title 42 expulsions policy, "what we’re going to see is tens of thousands of families try to come into the United States overnight."
"We have to ensure Title 42 stays intact until we get the situation under control," he added back then.
24 November 2021, 21:00 GMT
Since October 2020, when the US government's fiscal year began, the total number of apprehensions on the southern border has topped 1.7 million, according to the latest US Customs and Border Protection data.
During the Biden administration, illegal border crossings on the US southern border reached a 20-year high, with over 164,000 migrant encounters just last month, a slight decrease in comparison with September, when a total of 192,000 migrants were apprehended at the border.