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Congressman Cuellar comments on travel restrictions, Texas border wall plans

3 months 1 week 3 days ago Wednesday, June 16 2021 Jun 16, 2021 June 16, 2021 6:40 PM June 16, 2021 in News - Local

With a restriction on non-essential travel across U.S. -Mexico ports of entry that remains in effect until 11:59 p.m. on June 21, Congressman Henry Cuellar shared where talks to lift that restriction - stand.

"For the first time I heard something from the White House that I thought was important,” Cuellar said. “They said ‘We're engaging with Canada and we're going to be engaging with Mexico about how to open up the border.’ Now, that sentence is probably the most significant thing I've heard."

The temporary restrictions have been in effect since March of last year due to COVID-19 concerns. Cuellar says businesses rely on Mexican shoppers who spend about $19 billion per year on across the border.  

Cuellar said he also spoke with the Mexican foreign minister about getting U.S. donated COVID vaccines to border towns in Mexico as quickly as possible.

Cuellar also commented on Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to build a border wall and said he doesn’t' think it will work. 

The first obstacle Congressman Cuellar pointed to are the environmental laws that the former administration waived in their effort to build the wall. 

Cuellar believes the Biden administration will not waive any environmental laws - a factor that would significantly slow down Abbott's border wall plans.

"If President Trump was only able…to build only about 50 miles of new miles [of border wall], not replacement, then I think it's going to be an uphill battle,” Cuellar said. “I think politically it sounds good, practically it's not going to happen."

The congressman also said he doesn't think the state of Texas has the money needed to build a wall that would cover all the existing gaps along the border, adding that he'd rather work with Gov. Abbott on putting more boots on the ground and working with partners across the river to protect the border. 

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