Castro writes that Cruz and other Republicans demagoguing at the southern border, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, “did not make a peep in Trump’s last nine months in office, when there was a 359% increase in border encounters and a 690% increase in unaccompanied minors seeking asylum.” NBC News reported that the Biden transition team and career officials had actually tried to warn the prior administration of the need to increase Health and Human Services capacity in order to shelter children, but they made no movement until just five days before Biden’s inauguration.
He continues on to write that “[w]hile some immigration reporters may have called attention to the increases at the time, there was no wall-to-wall cable coverage or debates about the use of the word ‘crisis.’ The increase in asylum seekers only got attention when Republicans started attacking President Biden, and many in the media bought their misinformation and fear-mongering hook, line, and sinker.”
Example: The delegation of 19 Republican senators, including Cruz and John Cornyn, at the Rio Grande last month to carry out their shameless theatrics. Photos captured Cruz and other Republicans surrounded by bulletproof vests and machine guns. Marianna Wright, director of the National Butterfly Center, is from the region and cleared up the reality there. “This is at Anzalduas County PARK,” she tweeted. “A PUBLIC PARK, across the river from multiple MX parks, the Reynosa zoo, and the launch site for the MX ‘Pachamama’ 2-story pontoon party boat. The capt is the DJ and they have a bartender upstairs at the dance floor. Real dangerous area… NOT!”
“Republicans’ trips, floor speeches, and statements are nothing more than cynical political stunts that attempt to rewrite the history of former President Donald Trump’s failed immigration agenda,” Castro writes.
Nor was there was a delegation of 19 Republican senators at the White House when the previous president slashed aid to Central America during a tantrum. “In the long term, the Biden administration is working to address the root causes of migration and improve conditions in Central America so that families can find safety and opportunity at home, instead of making the dangerous journey to the border,” Castro continues. “President Biden tapped Vice President Kamala Harris to oversee these efforts.” Biden’s initial budget includes “$861 million to finance efforts to mitigate corruption, violence and poverty in the region,” CBS News reported.
Immigrant rights advocacy group America’s Voice called Castro’s op-ed a “must-read” in a statement. “If we’re interested in solutions at our border, we have to look beyond the border to the source of the crisis in Central America while finally delivering on citizenship for long-settled immigrants and new legal pathways to make migration patterns safe and orderly,” director of communication Doug Rivlin said. “Of course, Republicans aren’t interested in real solutions, just short-term politics, looking tough for the cameras and whitewashing Trump’s disastrous record of family separation, failure and cruelty.”
Proving that point is a report Tuesday of Republican governors Pete Ricketts of Nebraska and Kim Reynolds of Iowa pushing against the Biden administration and refusing to shelter unaccompanied children in their states.
“President Biden has created an immigration crisis on our border with thousands of unaccompanied migrant children coming to our country without their parents or family,” Ricketts claimed according to Omaha World-Herald. “Nebraska is declining their request because we are reserving our resources for serving our kids. I do not want our kids harmed as the result of President Biden’s bad policies.”