Leading SA: Congressmen Henry Cuellar, Tony Gonzales on border deal in works

GMSA spoke with South Texas Congressmen on border, immigration issues Sunday morning

SAN ANTONIO – As migrants continue heading towards the U.S.-Mexico border, South Texas finds itself in the crosshairs of a national story.

Two Congressmen whose districts include sections of the border joined Leading SA on Sunday morning.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. Here in San Antonio, we feel the brunt of that,” said Republican Congressman Tony Gonzales, whose district includes 800 miles along the border. “These images on Eagle Pass and throughout the border...quickly come to San Antonio and they gobble up all of our city resources.”

Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar, who recently met with Mexican officials on border security efforts, agreed that more needs to be done to ease the burden on U.S. border towns.

“Can [Mexico] do more? Absolutely, they can do more. But let me tell you, some of the things that they’ve been doing,” Cuellar said on Leading SA, noting Mexico has stepped up enforcement. “The reason the numbers have gone down is because Mexico is doing its part.”

Record numbers of migrants continue moving north, including hundreds of thousands last December alone according to Customs and Border Protection data. Gonzales argued the solution lies in swiftly processing new arrivals.

“Get people’s cases heard in days, not years,” Gonzales said. “And if somebody doesn’t qualify for asylum, which is nine out of ten, you immediately deport them.”

Congressman Gonzales added that compassion is being tested.

“These communities in general, we’re really tight-knit. You know, you work together, whether it’s state, whether it’s local, whether it’s federal and what is happening, the politics is starting to pull us apart,” Gonzales said.

While both congressmen from either side of the aisle want action from the White House, they disagree on cooperation with state border crackdowns.

“[Texas] cannot try to say we’re the ones who go to secure the border,” Cuellar said. “Now, does the state play a role? Yes, they are to work together with DPS (Department of Public Safety), the state military, should be working with Border Patrol. Border Patrol hand-in-hand and not take one out. They ought to do it together as a team.”

With the 2024 general election looming, partisan finger-pointing has intensified pressure on border communities. Gonzales appealed to voters for pragmatic solutions over campaign rhetoric.

“People just want this solved. They want to feel safe in their communities,” Gonzales said. “It’s going to take real leadership to be able to power through that.”

About the Authors

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.

Sarah Acosta is a weekend Good Morning San Antonio anchor and a general assignments reporter at KSAT12. She joined the news team in April 2018 as a morning reporter for GMSA and is a native South Texan.

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