Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, has given up on having conversations with the White House about the border because top officials in the Biden administration are only interested in listening to “immigration activists,” he said in an exclusive interview.
“I haven’t followed up with the White House … after months and months and months of talking to them,” Cuellar told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“A lot of them are dealing with former immigration activists, so they have a different way of thinking. So I don’t think I can ever convey [the problem] to them. The career people understand it. But the White House people are former immigration activists, so the answer is no to that,” he added.
Cuellar, who represents a South Texas border district, has long supported securing the border and was in favor of keeping Title 42, a public health measure to quickly expel illegal aliens, in place, despite the Biden administration’s attempt to end it. He’s also a pro-life Democrat and was the only member of his party to vote against an abortion bill in 2021.
He was recently one of five Democrats to vote against an assault weapons ban. In the current congressional term, Cuellar has voted against the majority of House Democrats 4.1%, according to ProPublica.
The Texas Democrat has suggested that the White House not just limit its conversations about the border to the activists, saying it should include border communities and border authorities, like Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Border Patrol, he explained.
“I’ve always said, when you look at border issues, you gotta look at three factors. Yes, immigration activists. Second of all, they’ve got to listen to these border communities, which they’re not listening to border communities, and that’s one of the things that I pushed very hard,” Cuellar said.
“The other thing is, they have to also listen to the men and women in green and blue and ICE. They need to do that. So I think what’s happening is that they don’t want to upset the immigration activists and I know that because I had somebody tell me that one time, but I think that’s wrong,” he said.
Cuellar said he’s talked with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas about the 53 illegal immigrants who died in an alleged smuggling incident in South Texas.
“I think he gets it. But, in my personal opinion, there are some forces from the White House that think otherwise,” Cuellar said.
Neither the White House nor the Department of Homeland Security responded to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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