Texas Representative Vicente Gonzalez (D) spoke with Texas Politics about his support for the Senate border bill as well as another legislation known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, saying that not enough is being done to secure the border.
“It’s not enough. I’m doing it because it’s better than nothing, but I myself have told the administration that I don’t believe it solves the problem on the border,” said Rep. Gonzalez about the Senate package.
The congressman continued, “I mean, it funds 1,100 new agents. We’re short 4,200, right now, that we have funding for, and we can’t recruit them and vet them and get them hired fast enough. It funds 375 new immigration judges. That would take a year or two to implement and process. So, I don’t see how there’s any policy that actually discourages people from coming to our border.”
Rep. Gonzalez stated that he supported the president using executive action to address the various border issues.
“I’ve been advocating for safe zones in Guatemala, in Panama, and in Colombia, where asylum seekers go to those safe zones that we put together in cooperation with the host country,” said Gonzalez.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio also recently told Texas Politics that he supported addressing Asylum cases overseas.
The Texas lawmaker continued to explain, “And, these asylum seekers that are coming all the way to our southern border will instead go there and process their asylum claim there. And, if we’re going to let them in under the credible fear standard that we have now, which I believe is a quite low standard, then let them give them a document from that juncture and let them fly to their final destination. And it does two things: it takes the pressure off the southern border and it eliminates the cartels out of the equation.”
Gonzalez agreed that his policy was similar to the Remain in Mexico policy that many have talked about and maligned.
“Process over there. Don’t make the trek,” said Gonzalez about the format of the policy.
Gonzalez stated that the bill was the “most humane way” to process asylum seekers.
“And to my Republican friends, I say, ‘Look, it takes the pressure off the border. We deal with them 1,500 miles away. And if we’re going to turn them down, turn them down over there. And if we’re going to let them in, let them in from that juncture and alleviate the border…we’re spending billions of billions of dollars,’” said Gonzalez on his push to get bipartisan support for the policy.
Gonzalez summarized his thoughts on the matter and stated, “Under my proposal, if they come without going through that safe zone they could be immediately removed back," and expressed his openness to the Remain in Mexico policy. Furthermore, he highlighted the discussions Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Defense Antony Blinken and Mexico have had over the issue of border security.
“Yeah, I’m for that. We’ve talked to the Mexicans recently. I think Mayorkas was down there yesterday, and Secretary Blinken, and they’ve had some serious conversations. And Mexico has raised their cooperation the last few months. They’re actually flying people back to their country from the South, and they’re actually flying people from the North back to the Southern part of the country. So, I think the pressure needs to stay on Mexico to do a lot more. I am totally O.K. with keeping people on the other side of the border,” concluded Gonzalez.