A Democratic mayor in a Texas border town is “sick” of being caught in the middle of the political “blame game” being played by Washington, D.C. lawmakers.
Laredo’s Mayor Pete Saenz, who said he supports some form of physical barrier along the area, came after Republicans and Democrats alike during a city council meeting earlier this month, Breitbart News reported.
But he expressed his frustration with the politics stalling any progress on the “broken asylum system” as the meeting addressed a resolution calling on President Trump not to move ahead with his suggested plan to close the border as a large part of the commercial trade into Texas comes through the city of Laredo.
“We’re in the crossfire of both Democrats, Republicans, the president,” Saenz said at the April 4 meeting. “To be honest with you, I’m sick of it — you know, the blame game — I’m sick of it.”
“We’re tired,” the mayor stated.
“We don’t want to go through this anymore,” he added, telling district representative and senators that “real lives are being impacted down here.”
“We know what the solutions are,” he continued. “But, there’s no political will — this gaming, this back and forth — at our expense.”
The city had asked the government to carry out “immigration reform” in a letter sent to Washington, Laredo Fire Chief Steve Landin said following the mayor’s remarks.
“I told the congressman today, ‘you guys, over there, need to get your act together and get both parties together and come up with some laws that are going to try to minimize all these asylum claims,” Landin said.
According to Breitbart:
Landin said that in working with the local charities who are providing shelters for the hundreds of migrants being dropped off in Laredo by ICE and Border Patrol agents he learned that migrants who have lived in the U.S. for a long time have “found out that they can no longer separate families — they are illegally crossing the border back into Mexico, go pick up their families, and come back and present themselves.”
The chief said that immigration officials then give the migrants a court date that he said some will honor. “But I can probably put money down that a lot won’t.”
Saenz expressed support for a bill being considered by the Texas Legislature which seeks to use money from the state’s “rainy day fund” in order to build barriers along the border in Webb and Maverick Counties. The bill would “provide more local input where we can work with the governor and decide what is best for our (area),” the mayor indicated.
“Let’s be real honest,” City Council Member George Altget weighed in, pinning some of the blame for the migrant crisis at the southern U.S. border on Mexico’s government.
“Mexico is gathering up, at the Guatemalan border, the next caravan and they’re shepherding them to our doorstep — with an escort,” Altget said.
“Mexico is not doing its part,” he added. “The resolution should include language that tells Mexico very clearly, ‘Quit delivering this problem to our doorstep.’ It’s not fair.”
Part of the resolution being discussed in the meeting, which passed on a 5-0 vote, read:
“Laredo, Texas, is a safe city, that trade is the solution and not the problem, directing Mexico to stop shepherding caravans of illegal immigrants to Laredo’s port, urging more personnel for border security, and, where needed, strategic infrastructure, urging the federal government to provide a better worker visa program, and include local crime statistics.”
Saenz had spoken earlier this month against the proposed closing of the border which he suggested would be devastating to the economies of Laredo and Texas.
“We gotta stay away from that rhetoric of closing the border. There’s no declaration of war, the imminent danger we don’t see,” he told the Texas Standard. “Obviously, we do have issues and we agree with the president, but I think … the solution lies with Congress and, of course, our president as well.”
“Congress hasn’t acted, neither for changes in the asylum law, nor comprehensive immigration reform, and that’s what we need. But they’re playing games and we’ve had enough of that here at the border,” Saenz said.
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