A Texas Democrat who has rebuked the Biden administration's open border policies says he get more information on the immigration crisis from Mexico than the buttoned-up U.S. government.
"I'll get a read out first from the Mexicans, because it's hard to get a read out from our own government, and I sit on the Homeland Appropriations [Subcommittee]," Rep. Henry Cuellar told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
"I get more information from across the river than I get from my own government, which is just amazing."
Cuellar used a football analogy of President Joe Biden administration's failures on the border crisis.
"It we play defense on the 1-yard line, we're going to keep losing; we're seeing that right now," Cuellar told host Joe Scarborough. "If we play defense on their 20-yard line and work with Mexico, Guatemala, Central America, work with them to keep people from coming over here, we are going to stem this stem of people coming over here."
Cuellar did say the clumsy Biden border messaging is improved, but it still needs work.
"The message has been much better," he said. "The first one was, 'don't come now; come later.' It's like saying, 'don't break the law now, break it later.'
"I'm glad that message is gone."
Instead, Cuellar added, "they need to be direct and say, 'don't come.'"
"Then they have to show images of people being returned," he said, setting up a deterrent to illegal immigration as opposed to an invitation.
"Now, I am not talking about the kids. Once the kids are in our custody, we take care of the kids like they're our own kids. But, again, we have to stem the tide of people coming in. We have to do it over there.
"We've done it before."
The Biden administration's acting "surprised" at the migrant surge is disingenuous, saying "we've seen this before" and adding a cursory visit from the administration is no replacement for the experience on the ground in South Texas, Cuellar added.
"And with all due respect for people to come to the border and just visit for a couple of hours, that's no substitute for a lifetime of experience," he said. "We've got mayors, we've got sheriffs, we've got NGOs [non-governmental organizations], we've seen this.
"In fact, I think it was within a week of inauguration, I had called my White House contact and I said, 'I want you all to look at what's happening on the ground; I'm talking to the men and women on the ground, I'm talking to NGOs, and numbers are increasing. You have to pay attention to this.'
"And I've tried several times and here we are."
Cuellar acknowledged the crisis has a burgeoning "political problem" for the Biden administration and open-border Democrats.
"I'm a Democrat, I supported Biden, but this will become a political problem," Cuellar concluded. "As we can see, our Republican colleagues are already turning this into a political weapon."
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