Congressman Henry Cuellar says Biden’s rule to limit asylum is ‘cheap’

President Joe Biden talks with Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, left, as they stroll alongside a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso Texas, final month. Andrew Harnik/AP cover caption

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Andrew Harnik/AP

President Joe Biden talks with Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, left, as they stroll alongside a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso Texas, final month.

Andrew Harnik/AP

Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), whose district consists of components of the U.S.-Mexico border, has lengthy been crucial of how Republicans and Democrats have handled immigration.

However he says a brand new asylum rule proposed by the Biden administration is a “cheap” method to take care of the file variety of migrants arriving on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The rule, which was proposed final week, would presume that migrants are ineligible for asylum in the event that they cross illegally, don’t ask for defense in international locations they cross, and don’t notify U.S. authorities of their intention to hunt asylum via a cell app.

Immigration rights advocates have criticized the rule as a violation of President Biden’s personal guarantees to revive asylum and have in contrast it to a Trump-era asylum ban.

Congressman Cuellar says the variety of migrants arriving on the southern border is overwhelming native officers and assets.

“If anyone is 1,500 miles away, it’s so straightforward for individuals to say, ‘Oh, yeah, let all people in,’ ” he says.

“However should you’re a mayor, you’re a county decide, you’re a landowner, you’re anyone down right here on the border — and also you see this present day after day after day… you’re going to have a really completely different perspective. I feel I’m talking for my group [when I say] we simply need to have order.”

Under are highlights from Cueller’s interview with All Issues Thought of on Sunday, edited for size and readability.

On how he responds to criticism that the proposed rule is just like Trump immigration insurance policies, just like the so-called “Stay in Mexico” program:

I do know a few of the immigration teams are saying, “Oh, it’s a Trump-like rule.” No, Trump wished to ban individuals from coming in. All that is asking is that it could be an illegal pathway to get into the U.S. Folks can nonetheless ask for asylum to return in.

On whether or not this rule change may alienate Democrats who assist a extra expansive strategy to immigration:

If an individual thinks that the immigration activists are the one a part of the Democratic base, then they’re flawed. They’re an important group. However like I’ve mentioned, after we discuss in regards to the points down right here on the border, I’ve at all times mentioned immigration activists are one [voice]. And I feel the White Home listened to them too lengthy with out taking consideration to the women and men down right here which have so many households down right here.

Who’s listening to the border communities? When a rule like this comes out, the media routinely goes to the immigration activist. Who calls the border mayor in Webb County or in Starr County or in El Paso? Or who calls the county judges or the mayors or the sheriffs down right here?

On the exceptions to the asylum rule for migrants arriving from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela:

You possibly can return some those who don’t qualify for asylum simpler to a variety of international locations. However there are international locations the place {our relationships} usually are not good: Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti. It’s a special state of affairs there. So if the international locations usually are not going to take them, then I feel we have to work out how we are able to attempt to assist these of us, however nonetheless display each individual that is available in to ensure that there are not any causes for retaining them out.