Congressman Vicente Gonzalez reacts to Abbott's visit to Valley
U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-McAllen) is reacting after Gov. Greg Abbott visited the Rio Grande Valley on Tuesday.
Abbott said during a press conference in Mission that a surge of border crossings in the Rio Grande Valley is a result of President Biden’s immigration policies.
“He does not care about Americans,” Abbott said, referring to Biden. “He cares more about people who are not from this country.”
MORE ABBOTT COVERAGE: Gov. Abbott cites immigration policy changes as reason for surge in border crossings
Congressman Gonzalez agrees that there’s a problem. But he’s not happy with Abbott putting the blame on President Biden, saying there are many more factors in the numbers of increased border apprehensions. Gonzalez says the government should be talking solutions instead.
“I think we need to allow Central Americans to ask for asylum in their home country or their neighboring country,” Gonzalez said.
Abbott also said Border Patrol agents need to be taken care of by the federal government, and that they are being neglected for access to COVID-9 vaccinations. But Gonzalez countered, saying that doesn’t make sense because the federal government gives vaccines to states, which then distribute them to hospitals, schools, and other community members. Even then, Gonzalez says the agents have been mostly taken care of.
“We probably have taken about 70 percent, 80 percent of them that wanted a vaccine that didn’t have it,” Gonzalez said.
Both Abbott and Gonzalez called for law and order on the border, but with differing views on how to go about it. Abbott launched Operation Lone Star, a program where he plans to use more Texas-based agencies like DPS to turn migrants away. Gonzalez argues that the root cause needs to be addressed.
“I think we need to invest in security and business opportunities in those three Central American countries where migration is coming from, from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez says that also includes creating safe-zones for people escaping violence in Central American countries, adding that the governor needs to focus on the pandemic, and issues concerning electricity.
“I thank anyone who wants to help, but this situation should not be political. I believe the U.S. government has the resources it needs to deal with our border and I hope Governor Abbott will distribute the federal dollars the state has been withholding to the citizens of Texas. People need the resources now more than ever.”
Gonzalez says his team is arranging for a meeting with President Biden to discuss immigration issues.
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