GOP Lawmaker Urges Going ‘Beyond Political Labels’ to Address Border Crisis, Suggests His Own Plan

© REUTERS / Jorge DuenesMigrants, part of a caravan of thousands trying to reach the U.S., gather at the border fence between Mexico and the United States after arriving in Tijuana, Mexico November 13, 2018
Migrants, part of a caravan of thousands trying to reach the U.S., gather at the border fence between Mexico and the United States after arriving in Tijuana, Mexico November 13, 2018 - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.12.2021
Recent data showed that at the end of this fiscal year, the number of border arrests exceeded the record year of 1986, with the total figure standing at 1.7 million.
Republican congressman Tony Gonzales of Texas warned that the US immigration system is currently "on fire" and offered a plan to tackle the crisis in an article titled "Biden’s Border Crisis."
The lawmaker, who represents a San Antonio district that includes 820 miles of the US-Mexico border, has focused on problems that have affected border areas due to the surge in immigration – criminal records, drug trafficking and the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19, with border agents constantly facing staff and equipment shortages.
“Our immigration system is on fire, and bad policies are fanning the flames,” he claimed.
The lawmaker particularly highlighted the Del Rio area, which saw a sudden surge in migrants from Haiti this summer.

“In this area alone, individuals from over 92 countries were arrested this year. That is far from typical, and it presents new risks for our national security. Although most travel to escape poor economic conditions, it is not uncommon for convicted criminals to be discovered among large groups of migrant caravans. How long before our open floodgates lead to another 9/11?” Gonzales wrote.

Stating that Americans are compassionate people and that his “life has been the American Dream,” he called for lawmakers to “go beyond political labels to reach solutions for our nation’s most pressing problems and address our flawed border security policies” so that others have the same opportunity.
Migrants, mostly Haitians, walk as they take part in a caravan to the U.S. border, near Tapachula, Mexico November 25, 2021. Picture taken November 25, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.11.2021
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Among the measures that Gonzales proposed was the recruitment of additional staff for courts that consider migrant applications, as currently it “takes an average of two to three years to process one case.” This allows migrants to remain in the US and disappear if their request is rejected.
The congressman also urged the current administration to revive former President Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” program and improve border security, as “many areas are still vulnerable to criminal activity.”
“We could benefit from a physical structure like a wall. In others, border technology is a much more suitable option,” Gonzales noted.
Lastly, the lawmaker stressed the need to raise financing of crucial border agencies for additional personnel and essential services.
“Let me be clear: I fully believe in legal immigration,” he concluded. “However, there are rules that must be followed. Ignoring them creates chaos for the system and risks for those who make the life-endangering trip to get here.”
In October, the US Customs and Border Protection reported that they had detained 1.7 million migrants who illegally crossed the border over the last fiscal year, according to the Washington Post. The arrested migrants are sent back under “Title 42," which empowers the authorities to extradite illegal immigrants due to pandemic concerns. At the same time, authorities have faced criticism amid reports that some of the migrants were relocated to other parts of the country with the assistance of border agents.
The current administration has blamed the border crisis on Donald Trump's policies and the economic collapse caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Republican politicians, on the other hand, have constantly demanded the reimposition of strict migration laws, adopted by Trump and reversed by Biden.
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